Thursday, January 19, 2012

Build Donor Loyalty Through an Experience

Step 93.

During my 13 years at World Vision, we knew that if we could get donors to the field in order to experience first-hand our brand promise we had them as life-long contributors to the organization.

What do I mean when I say "experience something first-hand?" Often charities struggle to communicate their mission-in-action so it inspires and motivates people to do something about it. Taking people to the field, where the actual work of saving and changing lives took place, made lasting impressions for the need was undeniably great.

We were engaging people's all five senses . . . donors were able to touch, see, smell, hear, and yes, even taste our cause. Of course I'm a big believer in effective fundraising materials but they paled in comparison to what the field experience offered in way of compelling people to give.

The more senses you engage with people around your cause, the greater their experience, thus the more effective you will be at bonding them to your organization.

Photo of a waiter with a bottle of wine.Regardless if you are a wine drinker or not, as a marketer, you can appreciate how the makers of wine engage you through an experience. Photo of a cork from a bottle of wine.For example, if you order wine at a restaurant, the first thing a waiter does is uncork your bottle so you can touch the cork to feel if it is soft at its end for that is a good sign.

Photo of a man looking at a glass of wine.Next, the waiter pours a sampling of the wine in a glass. You then swrill the wine in your glass to see if it produces streaks downward. This is known as a wine having "legs" and is also a good sign it will taste well.

Photo of a man smelling a glass of wine.Upon seeing if the wine has "legs" you bring the glass up to your nose so you can smell it. If the wine has gone bad, it may smell of vinegar and you will not want to drink it.

Photo of a woman drinking a glass of wine.At this point, you are ready to taste the sampling of wine in your glass . . . this is the real test to see if you are going to enjoy it. Upon your approval that the wine is satisfactory, the waiter pours everyone a glass in your party.

Photo of people making a toast with their wine glasses.As good friends do, they celebrate their time together with a toast and the clinging of their glasses help to round out the experience by engaging us with sound.

Wine is a great example of how to engage all senses for an enhanced experience. There is a sixth sense to wine, find out what it is by clicking sixth sense.

Many nonprofits realize that they can not bring all of their constituents and/or donors to the field so they are bringing the field to them. Through virtual experiences online with video and animation. Some charities have created enormous exhibits, which simulate their mission-in-action to be placed in malls, schools and other public venues.

Photo of a child from Africa
Everyone wants loyal donors and the best way to strengthen and build a bond with people is through an experience of your mission-in-action. This is the underlying principle in your pursuit of brand happiness.

Givers Take, When I got back from your project overseas, our family foundation gave a grant to help fund it.

Step 94. Set the Pace

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