Thursday, January 19, 2012

Meet Bill

Step 87.
Many seperate photos of Bill
Anthropology is the study of humanity and has origins in the natural sciences, the humanities and the social sciences. Today, I present you an experiential immersion research project, often known as participant-observation.

Bill is a 58 year old single male who's a small business owner. Bill loves to garden, surf, tend to his bees and paints with watercolors. Bill loves to give to charity, he receives a lot of direct mail each and every day from nonprofits all vying for his time and money but mostly money.

I observed Bill during the last few days of a particular month to see how he reacts to various fundraising campaigns that are sent to him.

Day One
Photo of Bill arriving homeBill arrives home after a day at work at 5:15pm. As you can see, he drives a modest car and dresses conservatively.
Photo of Bill at his mailboxThe first thing Bill does everyday except Sunday is check his mailbox.
Photo of Bill at his front doorBill wastes no time as he reads the outer envelopes from the various mailings he has received.
Photo of Bill throwing mail in a trash canBefore even opening his mail, Bill has determined which direct mail to keep and which to throw a way. Bill has a "keep mail pile" on his desk in the front room of his house. "This is my system, it has worked for me for years," said Bill. I asked Biil how he determines which mail to keep and which to toss into the trash can without even opening them up and he said, "You can tell, look at this one, it is addressed to resident."Photo of Bill's keep mail pile
Day Two
After another day at work, Bill was so anixous to restock his fire wood inside his house that he didn't even take time to drop off his mail. He simply folded today's mail into his shirt pocket and went on about his business.Photos of Bill gathering fire wood
Photo of Bill adding mail to his keep mail pileBill takes the fire wood into his house but the first thing he does once inside is purge and merge his mail onto the keep mail pile.

Day Three
Photos of Bill gardening and adding mail to his keep mail pileLike yesterday, Bill decides before stepping foot into his house, he will do some gardening. As you will note, today's mail is stuffed into his back pocket. About an hour later, Bill goes into his house and purges and merges his mail just like the previous other two days. As you can see his "keep mail pile" grows a little by each day.

Day Four
Photo of Bill picking up his keep mail pileToday is the last Friday of the month and just like most people, Bill got paid today. Yes even business owners give themselves a paycheck. Photo of Bill reading his mail at his kitchen tableBill did something interesting today, he did not purge his mail like usual, he simply combined all of the mail today with his "keep mail pile" and walked into his kitchen, sat down at a table and begain opening up each envelope and reading. The first letter Bill read got thrown into the trash. I asked him why he decided toss that letter and he said, "The numbers didn't add up for me." "What do you mean," I asked. He went on to say that he did not believe in the numbers that this particular charity was promoting, "They are just too big and seem unachievable," Bill said.

After Bill finished reading all of the letters that he had received during the last week of this month, he had made yet another pile. However, this pile of mail had made it through Bill's system and will be dealt with tomorrow (Saturday) when he pays all of his bills.

Day Five
Two Saturdays of every month, Bill sits down at his kitchen table and deals with his bills and charitable contributions. "I've given to just about every kind of charity one time or another, I guess that is why I get so much direct mail but the thing I care most about is feeding the hungry," Bill said.Photo of Bill sitting at his kitchen table paying bills and donating online with his computer"Why do you pay your bills and make donations over the Internet," I asked. He said, "Well, it is much faster and easier than writing out a check and keeping track of each one in a little book." "What about when you donate to charities," I asked. He said, "I've read that it helps them cut their overhead cost down as well as put my donation to work faster and that really motivates me to give through their Web sites."

One of the charities Bill gave to this month used a dual channel approach (direct mail and unique landing page with a video on their Web site). Bill thought that was cool.
Photo of Bill with his smart phoneI thanked Bill for letting me observe him for a few days as he went about his life, "I guess you can say this was reality fundraising," I said. Before I left, Bill replied, "Someday I bet I'll be getting charities texting me for money on my phone." I said, "not someday, it is already happening.

Bill, is a typical donor who cares about a particualr kind of cause . . . he has his own way of determing who and/or what he gives toward. Your charity's donors have their own way about them too, you must discover how they think and understand why they do what they do in order to grow your organization.

Step 88. Create Loyalty with ROM Content

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