They’ve Got e-Mail. Lots of It. Will Yours Rise to the Top or Just Contribute to the Clutter

By Heath Shackleford

Remember the days when you almost needed a forklift to transport all the special offers, super duper discounts and important notices that were stuffed into your mailbox? Opening it was a finely tuned skill. You had to pull it down quickly and spring into action or fliers and postcards would slide out and fly in all directions.

With arms overflowing, you’d walk the big stack of unsolicited mail in through the front door, drop it on the kitchen table and sort through it for bills, magazines, letters…you know, stuff you actually wanted, or at least were expecting, to receive. Everyday, it was more of the same, an unrelenting parade of nonsense.

For those who are too young, or too old, to remember the good ole days, never [...]

Using Fear Appeals in Nonprofit Marketing Messages

Fear can motivate people to act and is often necessary in health-related messages. Frankly, there are not many happy ways to say, “If you don’t quit drinking and driving, you will eventually kill someone and/or go to jail.” A person who has risky health behaviors, needs to know they are in danger.  It makes sense to sound the alarms.  But when you awaken their fears of people, understand you often unleash untended consequences. You may intend for people to take away a healthy caution from your message, but they could react in ways you did not anticipate.  You may intend to evoke one kind of feeling with your message, but people have the habit of deferring their negative feelings from one to another when the intended emotion is too hard [...]

Seventy-Five Subconscious Reasons People Volunteer

Some researchers claim 90% of decisions are made on the subconscious level. Understanding what makes your volunteers tick will give you an incredible guerrilla edge by using psychology. You can learn to maintain volunteer interest–almost reading their minds.

Nonguerrillas only understand about 10% of the reasons that make volunteering attractive to people. Guerrillas know about the rest of the motivational iceberg that is beneath the surface and they use that understanding to deepen the interest of the people they want to recruit.

Here’s a list of 75 reasons people will never tell you they are volunteering. Heck, they may not even be able to tell themselves.

To find a personal mission in life To give back To make a difference To change the world To mobilize support To be [...]

10 Social Media Strategies That Work for Nonprofits

There is no such thing as a “silver bullet” social media tactic that will save your organization. Every situation varies depending on the nature of your work and your intended outcomes. Volunteer mobilization strategies don’t have the same as issues fundraising or advocacy online. But there are some strategies for using social media that apply in most situations for maximum guerrilla impact. Below are 10 strategic principles you can use to get the most out of your social media outreach. 1. Message: In order for your message to have any impact for your cause, it has to contain your message. As in all advertising, a funny or interesting video, even if it becomes a very popular online phenomenon, if it doesn’t get people to take action, it is useless to [...]

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