A great study by social scientist Adam Grant has just been bought to my attention . Grant carried out a study on motivation and productivity in a university fundraising call centre in Canada.
He separated fundraisers into three groups and prior to calling they were to;
- Read stories written by other employees describing personal benefits of the job (personal benefit condition)
- Read stories written by students who’d benefited from fundraising (task significance condition)
- Control Group did not read any stories at all
Grant measured the number of pledges and donation amounts one week before the above and one month after. Group 1 performed exactly the same. Group 2 earned more than twice the amount of weekly pledges and doubled the value (donations went from $1,228 a week to $3,130!)
While at the university, Grant saw a sign on someone’s desk that said:
“Doing a good job here is like wetting your pants in a dark suit – you get a warm feeling no one notices.”
So he set up a second test to thank fundraisers. One group did the job as normal. The other half were visited by the director of annual giving who said “I am very grateful for your hard work. We sincerely appreciate your contributions to the University.” Just 16 words difference between the two groups. The first group (obviously) performed as normal, the second made 50% more calls in the following week!
We definitely see a difference in results when charities come in to do fundraiser engagement sessions with our fundraisers. We are experts at training, coaching and motivating our fundraisers, but nothing can match hearing appreciation directly from the beneficiaries or thanks from the charity in person. It brings fundraisers closer to the cause and always drives more passionate conversations and better results.
Thanks to Charlie Hulme for pointing me in the direction of this study. You can read more in the book ‘Give & Take’ by social scientist Adam Grant
Thanks for reading, Bethan
Follow Bethan on twitter @bethanalys
Yesterday was my first experience of Sofii’s IWITOT event and as a new Account Manager at Pell & Bales it was a great introduction to the sector and an insight into the minds of some of the key players in the fundraising industry.
I spent the afternoon listening to some genuinely inspirational talks and supported a fellow Pell & Bales fundraiser Jess Borham doing her talk on National Asthma UK’s Straw Mailing Pack (sounds too simple to have any impact but it was really effective!).
You’ll be hearing from Jess soon but for now, here are my take out’s from the day..
- While supporters are being generated through ‘new’ channels like social media and SMS, it’s slowly dawning on charities that they still need traditional channels to engage & connect to these supporters and if anything the telephone will become more important
- Speed is everything. Charities are beginning to realise they need to be on top of social media channels in order to capitalise on things like #nomakeupselfie or the #icebucket challenge. As a telephone fundraising agency – this breeds opportunities for us to be more flexible and agile in our strategy and campaign planning – pulling together campaigns within a few days of a social media meme taking off!
- Making it personal. The most striking campaigns covered were #FindMike presented by Fiona Lishman Head of Client Development at On Agency (which eventually won on the day) & ‘Cathy Come Home’ presented by Chris Barraclough Creative Director at Orchestra (not strictly a campaign but led to such a public outcry it changed an entire generation’s view of homelessness & poverty). The best campaigns were far away from Branding & PR Marketing. When you have the Deputy Executive Director of Fundraising from UNICEF imploring the room that we need “Fundraisers with Balls” you realise it’s up to us as individuals to be brave and take risks.
- Despite all the excitement about, perhaps, striking it lucky with a campaign like the # icebucket challenge, insight was a recurrent theme. CRUK’s Dryathlon was probably the best example of this and was presented at the event by Sinead Chapman, Strategy Director at Open Fundraising. CRUK set out to recruit more men between 25 & 45 yrs old and created a campaign specifically to appeal to this demographic; low commitment, facilitate banter, etc. The huge success of this campaign was underpinned by insight gleaned from research & willingness to explore this ‘new’ demographic. In the same vein, we need to continue to mine as much learning from our SMS & social media campaigns as possible, because while traditional demographics don’t appear to tie these disparate supporters together, there are clearly psycho graphic patterns which can unlock key learning for us.
Spot on Ian.. we thought the same…
” Yesterday I listened to 19 fundraisers (should have been 20 but one wasn’t able to make it) talk about the fundraising ideas from the past 130 years that have so inspired them that they wished they’d thought of them.
Of the 19 people who presented at the SOFII event, 10 worked for a charity and nine for a commercial supplier to the sector – including a digital consultant, a trainer, telephone and direct marketing agency staff and a street fundraiser.
Apart from the 18 excellent (and one that was OK) ideas presented, the thing that struck me most was that everyone displayed similar levels passion and commitment to fundraising and the impact fundraising has on the world. So much so that I would defy anyone to have sat in the room and, without knowing who worked for whom, predict with any degree of confidence who were the charity staff and who worked for suppliers.
Those vocal members of the anti-fundraising brigade who complain about how third party agency fundraisers are mercenaries with no real commitment to the causes they work for should have gone to IWITOT yesterday and put their theories to the test. They would have found them wanting.
The people on stage yesterday were not agency fundraisers and they were not charity fundraisers. They were fundraisers. “
Ian Macquillin talks about IWITOT 2014 in UK Fundraising (Click here to read the full article)
See anyone you recognise?
click to zoom
We’re on a bit of a mission to save the world here at Pell & Bales and now you could be part of it too.
We’re looking for a passionate, world class Account Manager to join the growing team at our London HQ. You will manage a portfolio of clients large and small, including many of the UK’s favourite charities, supporting them across a diverse range of programs from Acquisition, Loyalty and Legacy fundraising and anything in between.
With over 20 years experience and our first £BILLION for charity under our belt, new team members can expect to experience unrivalled development and career progression working within a forward-thinking, innovative environment. Don’t take our word for it – check out all these fabulous people that all started their careers here with us– we must be doing something right!
The lucky candidate will find themselves working in a true fundraising environment full of passionate people dedicated to innovation and excellence. This makes working at P&B a fun, buzzing, dynamic, sometimes crazy but ultimately rewarding place to work.
If you have fundraising and client servicing super powers to share, are passionate about changing the world, thrive when working in a fast-paced environment and are a strong team player then drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Account Manager Vacancy’ in the subject line and we’ll send you more details about the role and how to apply.
Closing Date: Friday 27th June 2014
I can’t wait to hear from you, Bethan
…when you could be shooting fish in a barrel?
Acquiring new charity donors has never been tougher – response rates are in decline, attrition is high and costs are rising. For the 1% response we might get from mail, 99% are saying no. For every person that stops on the street to talk with our fundraisers how many walk on by? And then, when we do secure new donors vast numbers are lapsing.
It begs the question, how sophisticated is our targeting? Which group would you target from the two below?
If only we could find whole communities of like minded engaged, socially conscious individuals like this just hanging out on the street corner right!?
Well, maybe not the street corner, but online communities just like this are growing and growing quickly.
In the last 12 months we’ve been working with online community specialists Care2 to identifying prospects who demonstrate particular charitable and philanthropic attitudes and a genuine interest in the cause.
This type of behavioural targeting is far superior to simple demographic targeting. When calling prospects to convert to regular monthly givers, results have been fantastic – as much as three times higher than a traditional cold list.
The other thing we love is the level of channel and message integration on this approach: data is collected online with a campaigning ask, quickly followed with an email (or mail) follow-up and then a phone call taking the ‘prospect’ to ‘campaigner’ and then to ‘donor’ seamlessly and efficiently.
As Tom at the Agitator said of Care2 in the states; it should be a staple in your acquisition toolkit. ‘Very Straightforward.’
It was great to see someone recently coin exactly what fundraisers across the sector have been trying to put into words for a while now.
“This is a fundraising office
Treasury of the voluntary sector
Engine room of the change charities bring to the world
Through this office we connect the people who want to change the world with the people whocan change it
We convert their ideals into the funding that allows charities to achieve their missions and visions
We underwrite charities’ successes and insure against their failures
Friend you are about to enter sacred ground
This is a fundraising office.”
Ian Macquillan, Fundraising Manifesto, 11th April 2014
What we like most about Ian’s manifesto is that it applies to fundraisers of any type; whether you work for a charity, as a telephone fundraiser or as a street fundraiser ..you can relate to this and know you’re not ‘just a fundraiser‘ your ‘A FUNDRAISER‘, changing the world everyday – so be proud!