When shopping and you come across someone that looks familiar, one automatically stops and tries to figure out where they interacted with that person. If that interaction was positive, they may be prompted to ask where they know the person from or even mull over it before approaching. Curiosity is a normal human reaction to a familiar object, almost like déjà vu, you’ve experienced an encounter with that person or object just can’t put the puzzle pieces together.
If it is understood that curiosity is a natural human desire, why don’t we, as non-profits make an effort to implement initiatives that encourage a certain amount of interactions with prospective clients? There are strategic donation efforts in place that suggest one should interact or “touch” someone in their donorbase before asking for another donation. These “touches” range from personalized letters, biannual newsletters to attending events or even hosting events that potential donors would be interested in attending. Fundraising has been evaluated so extensively that researchers have concluded that seven touches, seven is the amount of times a donor should be touched by you or your organization should interact with the donor before asking for another donation. All of these suggestions are made to encourage relationship building and the “pay it forward attitude,” in the hopes that when one is thinking of nonprofits to contribute time and/or money to, the nonprofit would be at the forefront of the donor’s mind.
Nonprofits should proactively engage the client base as strategically as they seek the donorbase. The donor base may be fewer than the client base but the premise is the same, interact with prospects in a positive and continuous manner that prompts them to inquire about your organization and contribute either time or money.
BOOST is utilizing the fundraising concept and modifying it to connect with McLennan County youth. The reality is that many students do not have steady relationships with authority or leaders in the community. This reality has been the basis of our EMCeeS , Empowering McLennan County Schools, initiative. In the nonprofit community, the leaders are the emcees. Leaders are in control of the mic but we are in place to amplify the needs of the community. EMCeeS are building a network of resources for youth by developing strategic partnerships with organizations in the area, aiming to “touch” certain schools seven times whether it is in a partner organization, volunteering in a school program or presenting at their school. These measures we are implementing are seeking to gauge the McLennan County youth, a strategic play on a natural human desire, curiosity.
BOOST is a leadership development program focused on preventing teen violence. The program’s curriculum integrates preventative measures and leadership then seeks to empower the community by encouraging the ambassador to lead sessions after they complete their leadership development course. We are currently recruiting nine ambassadors for Spring 2016.
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Blog is written by Netta Mustin, BOOST’s Program Manager