🌮The Ultimate Taco Twos-day Tuesday🌮

Jan 19, 2022

It’s January, so guess what we’ve been doing? Using our creative right brain to prepare the marketing/stewardship/communications that we had previously scheduled📅 for February by using our logical left brain.

That’s the best thing about having a Communications Plan, I think. Once you’ve made your plan for the year, you can work your plan week-by-week or month-by-month without feeling like your hair is on fire🔥.

Your yearly plan should include all those left brain ‘things’ that make data-driven, logical sense. It usually involves your database💻 or spreadsheets📊. It always involves your capacity and what you can realistically do while you keep all the other nonprofit plates 🍽 spinning.

Once that yearly plan is in place, your right brain creative side can shift into high gear. And what I love about this is that you don’t have to use both sides of your brain at the same time. Your brain is a mono-tasker. Even though we can multi-task, our brain works at it’s optimal capacity when we use one side at a time. If you prepare in advance, you can plan your work (left brain), you can work your plan (right brain)—and the results are pretty impressive.

This week’s rundown:

  • Left Brain Marketing Methods:  What I learned from Tim Sanders, author of Love is the Killer App, about sending Valentines with a little dash of my own left brain magic as directed from both my database💻 and the calendar📅.
  • Right Brain Marketing Moxie:  Learn how one of the Seven Principles of InfluenceThe Rule of Reciprocity, can encourage your donors to give—after all, there's always something to celebrate.

Are you ready? Let’s do this!

Left Brain Marketing Methods: The book Love is the Killer App by Tim Sanders was published in 2003. I must have read it right around then because I invited him to come to our community to speak in 2004. Tim had been the Chief Solutions Officer for Yahoo and was just getting started in the book writing/public speaking biz when I met him. He’s authored several books and has been on countless stages inspiring communities and companies everywhere since that time.

 While he said many noteworthy things that day, I recall one specific story he told about love. He reflected on the days in elementary school when he was so excited to buy everyone in his class a Valentine. He got one for everyone. He got one from everyone. There was something so exciting about getting to open each Valentine from every friend he had.

 Then, something happened. Middle School. It stopped. No more Valentine parties. No more Valentines from your entire class. It’s kind of sad when you think about it. And he just pondered what it would be like if we would begin sending all the people we really cared about a Valentine once again. I thought...maybe he’s right…maybe love is the killer app.

That story never left my mind. So, a decade later, I implemented that strategy. Every year we mail every donor from the previous year a Valentine. To make it even more stampworthy, we use this Valentine to recap the annual giving that each donor contributed the previous year. Although we 100% believe in Thanking before Banking, we do know that donors lose receipts, misfile, or simply prefer to have their donations neatly compiled in one letter. So, they love it for multiple reasons!

You know when it comes to left brain decision-making that your database rules. And it easily computes who last year's donors were and what their annual gift amount was. And the calendar tells us that the last week of January is a wonderful time to send these—just in time for donors to send their accountants their W-2’s and donation receipts...and just in time for Valentine’s Day.

After all, we love our donors. In fact, one of my teammates defines Stewardship as ‘loving our donors’.  I wholeheartedly agree. If you really are being good stewards to those who appreciate your mission as much as you do—you should occasionally tell them that they rock! Why not on Valentine’s Day? Besides, for some, it may be the only Valentine they get this year. Who knows? It could even end up being placed on the mantel or hung on the refrigerator. I mean if you can make it to refrigerator paper status, you’re winning!


Right Brain Marketing Moxie: We love celebrating! At the end of each Monday Morning Meeting, we take 12 seconds just to think about our biggest wins from the previous week in order to lock those memories into our hippocampus for safekeeping. But we’ve also been known to celebrate some of the more unknown holidays. You can easily Google unusual holidays and find several sources like this one if you'd like to join us!

Of course, some holidays we only celebrate internally like National Hot Chocolate🍫 Day—might as well treat your teammates and keep warm on a cold winter’s day. But we’ve also celebrated a couple of random holidays with our donors that they absolutely loved, like Galentine’s Day, National S’mores Day, International Day of Happiness, and National Pi Day. With the last 2+ years being filled with a pandemic and social distancing and masks, oh my—I think lightening the mood a bit with a fun surprise-them-with-gratitude card might be a very welcome break from the madness, don’t you?

So--and this is exciting--this year the most unusual holiday of all holidays is happening…<<drum roll, please>> The Ultimate Taco Twos-day Tuesday on 2/22/22…and yes, it’s on a Tuesday! Can you believe it? When will we ever have the chance to celebrate such a momentous occasion again? These days don’t come around every year, so you better believe we’re going to take advantage of it.

When you plan your work in advance, you'll have time to work your plan and create gratitude mailers like this for your donors without running around like chickens🐔 with your heads cut off. That’s the ultimate benefit of a plan. It’s never as a surprise when end-of-year giving comes around--you know it’s going to happen, so you plan for it. But the rest of the year shouldn't be a surprise either--it should be part of your plan. You can plan for 🌮The Ultimate Taco Twos-day Tuesday🌮 that will never happen with this series of 2’s ever again—if you know it’s coming and if you have some time to think about what you’re going to do.

What I love about both Valentines and 🌮The Ultimate Taco Twos-day Tuesday🌮 is that they both fit in well with The Rule of Reciprocity, which is one of The Seven Principles of Influence. The rule states that we try to repay, in kind, what someone else has done for us. Remembering your donors in either of these ways shows them that they mean something to you. Who knows, even if you don’t ask them for something via this mailing, they might be inclined to act anyway? Or quickly donate the next time you do ask!

And both are fun to do. Remember, generosity is fun. Improving the quality of someone's life through an act of generosity is one of the most joyous things a person can do. Help them join in the fun.

All My Best,

dawn ♥ 🌮
[email protected]

P.S. Fundraising is hard, even though you make it look
oh-so easy! ♥

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