Having spent a morning with a group of “seniors” (their word not mine) talking about ways they can help charities other than giving money on an ad-hoc basis, I got to thinking about how organisations tap into what could be a very valuable source of support.
So you want that feeling you get when you eat or have sex – easy, make a charitable donation.
There’s been recent talk that businesses are abandoning social media, maybe some are, in my view it’s likely to be those that dived in without having any idea on what they wanted to achieve using it.
Don’t let talk of people ditching social media put you off from using it, even if you haven’t gained all you though you may from it, instead look at the way you’re using it – is there anything you can do differently?
Perhaps your feel you don’t have the time being time poor can be a reality, but there’s ways around that.
Something I often suggest to organizations I talk with about using social media is that you don’t need to be on Facebook or Twitter (or any of the other platform) all day everyday. What I suggest is that when you take yourself away from your core work to check emails etc, take an extra couple of minutes to check your social media sites.
When you do it this way you’ll soon find that time isn’t really the issue, it’s more likely you didn’t know what (or how) you wanted to achieve using social media. Would you run an advertisement in the paper if you didn’t know what it’s goal was – no – social media is no different.
Have goals, plans and be part of the online community – talk about your organization yes, don’t only talk about “you”, talk about your donors/supporters. Their stories are likely to gain you more traction than talking about yourself.
If you’re not sure how you can better make use of social media – you’ll find a wealth of information and knowledge online – if in doubt ask, ask and ask some more.
The last couple of days has seen me hunkered down with the Board of a community organization working on their end-of-year appeal campaign, what’s been different about this planning period is that we’ve been disconnected from the outside world.
I got called in at the 11th hour to assist as the Board had been running round in circles trying to get the planning done, but were constantly getting interrupted, or more accurately were allowing themselves to become distracted.
Sometimes it pays to disconnect, to turn off the mobile phone, shut the internet down and focus on the task at hand.
On day one of the planning session I suggested we work away from the office, that staff were instructed not to interrupt us unless it was critical – one mobile phone was allocated for any such call.
All mobiles were put aside, the wireless internet shut down and out came to the whiteboard.
After only a few hours we had the core of the campaign sorted, we had established the “Wish List” – what was needed, why it was needed, from this we worked on who we could approach immediately to help tick items off the “Wish List”. Soon, a shortlist of potential donors, new and current, was drawn up along with a task list – who would do what, who would be responsible for keeping the ball rolling.
Day Two and we had all email promotion content sorted, a series of media releases were prepared and content update to the organizations website was ‘signed off’.
All this took about 20 hours, whereas prior to the planning days more than 60 hours had been spent on the planning for the campaign, with little movement made on the path to take – interruptions were the main reasons cited for the lack of progress.
Not only were we able to complete the end-of-year campaign planning, but we also managed to start the planning for a supporter get together, something that hadn’t been held in more than 5 years.
Getting away from it all – disconnecting and getting stuck into to tasks with little or no interruptions really works; if you’re struggling to get traction – disconnect and get stuck in, you’ll be pleasantly surprised as to how much you can achieve.
Do you shut yourself away to get tasks done- if not what’s holding you back from doing it?