The new "Fab Five" tools of relational fundraising: #2 and #1

"Fab Five" tools #2 and #1

Social Media and


Let's start with tool #2: Social Networks.

SN's are valuable in relational fundraising for two reasons.  The first being that the social network now allows leaders to see and engage more in the lives of their tribe members (those who are invested).  The second is that SN's are a gateway to stories on the blog and equip the tribe with a roadmap to lead others.

Ultimately, SN's are changing the way the world does relationships.  The protagonist will immediately jump in with the argument that "online" relationships aren't real.  My response, "Of course not," but there is a strong chance your relationship with your neighbor, or with your co-worker, or with your mother, or with you cable guy is not very real either.  Think about how many daily interactions you have that actually have no substance in your life.  More than likely, you have very few people that you have close relationships with.  Malcolm Gladwell in his brilliant book Tipping Point reminds us that our relational ability has a limit, right around 100 people.  So don't throw your nose in the air at those connected online because they are probably having more "real" interactions with one another than you are with your mechanic who you would recommend to the Pope.

Leaders who scoff at using a social network lack the desire to engage their tribe.  Now, more than ever, leaders need to be online in SN's because they are the new window into the lives of those most invested in our vision.  That's where we have to start getting online to say, "I see you," before saying, "Please see me."  Then we have to interact, we have to leave comments on statuses we see.  We need to leave comments on the pictures that are important enough for a person to post for everyone to see.  We have to say "Happy Birthday!" or "Congratulations!" or "I'm so sorry for your loss, praying for you!"

Also, leaders need to understand the power of the "retweet," the "like," and the "comment," from tribe members.  The tribe is the best marketer we have in this new world of more information than we can digest.  Using SN's as the "roadmap" to our best stories empowers the tribe to say to other potential tribe members, "Follow me, I know how to take you to exactly what you are looking for."

And finally, let's talk about tool #1:

Hootsuite is the answer to any leader who has looked at SN's and felt overwhelmed.  Hootsuite is a social media dashboard, meaning that you can manage every single social media site from one place.  If you have your personal Facebook and Twitter accounts, your organizations blog, and your organizations Facebook page you can manage all from Hootsuite's dashboard.

Here are the BIG advantages to using

1.  Consistant message- It allows you to post the same message across each SN that you choose.

2.  Schedule messages- Pro bloggers know that when you say it is as important as what you say.  The most attention you will get from any person is first thing in the morning while their attention span is fresh.  If you want to share a great story with the tribe, schedule the link to your blog story on SN's for 7:00am.  Believe it or not, the next highest attention span times are bathroom breaks at 11:30am and before going to bed at 9:30pm.  Scheduling messages is also incredibly helpful when it comes to seasonal strategy.  December is a huge month for year end giving and in September you could schedule tweets and Facebook posts to remind your tribe to give in that critical time.  That's leverage!

3.  Awareness of engagement- Hootsuite allows the user to see who's talking back without a lot of clicking.  You log in, hit the tab of the SN you want to see and everything is right there on one page.

4.  Cut the crap- I like Hootsuite because I absorb less worthless information.  Even in the free version there is not the bombardment of advertising.  That's refreshing.

There is the new "Fab Five" tools of relational fundraising.  The old way of relational fundraising has not faded away, we just have some new arrows in the quiver.  We can tell great stories in a brand new way using a blog.  For the image driven culture we can easily post fantastic pictures of the vision becoming reality from our mobile devices.  When we want to draw in people emotionally we can post a video from a very professional site that values video as an art.  We can engage our tribe at a high level and leverage their influence on others by using Social Networks as our roadmap to our story.  And finally there is a tool that brings all of this to a single place, allowing us to manage more with less work!

The new "Fab Five" tools of relational fundraising: #4

Fab Five tool #4


Instagram was recently named the iPhone app of the year in 2011 by Apple.  For good reason, it's a simple smart phone app that allows users to add a filter on their pictures making them even more attractive and unique.  So what does Instagram have to do with relational fundraising?  Our current culture is drawn to dynamic images.  Here's an example:



A tool like Instagram is cheating for the average photographer like me, it simply makes my story telling to investors and potential donors even better by having more attractive pictures.

A couple of things to remember when using Instagram.

1.  Look for opportunity-  When you are living out the vision of the mission be prepared to take pictures.

2.  Know how to be quick-  I've mentioned this before but know how to take the fastest possible picture on your smart phone.  If you have a current iPhone with the 4.0 software update break out your phone, double click the home button, click on the camera icon to open your phone, turn the phone so it's horizontal, and use the volume bar to snap the picture like a camera.  Later, when you have more time, open Instagram and click on the camera icon that's labeled "Share."  Click on the stacked window icon on the left and it will take you to your photo roll.  Select the photo you want to filter and then choose the filter.  The image is uploaded to your Instagram library but it is also saved in your photo library on your device.

3.  Faces, Faces, Faces-  If you are fundraising for something that's about people take pictures of faces.  A wise YL staff person once said, "Once you get close enough for the picture take two steps closer."

4.  Exposure is key-  In some instances one can be tempted to choose a filter based on a perceived cool factor of the finished product.  Don't buy into this temptation, choose the filter that puts the most light into your image.  You don't want the picture to be mysterious, you want it to be clear.

Remember the saying from the first day we started this conversation, "As the leader your investment in fundraising is telling great stories."  Instagram improves my story to a image driven culture.

What do you love about Instagram?