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Win, Win, Win, Win, Win – We’ll Get Ourselves Out Of This Mess Yet

My customer evangelist radar can always detect a not-waving-drowning plea for help between syllables. The unglamorous fact of fundraising life — unless you’re Lance, Haiti+CNN, or Obama on his home run — is actually raising the funds.

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Perhaps, by posting the above clip here,  John of Jamtown, his employees, the African musical instrument makers, the Fair Trade Federation, FastCompany lovers of quirky stuff, the NY International Gift Fair, and even your humble videoblogger – we all win, win, win, win, win

This will be a quick one.

In fact, I’m timing myself – can I give you something simple but useful to take away in a Brooklyn minute (slightly longer than a Manhattan minute)?

A friend just emailed, sounding a little panicky because she’s only raised 27% towards her fundraising goal of $5000

As the training season progresses, I’ll be forced to resort to more desperate measures to reach the finish line.  Your fundraising ideas are welcome, too.  Perhaps you can think of a challenge you’d like me to do in exchange for your financial support? Each donation helps accelerate finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. More than 823,000 Americans are battling these blood cancers.   I’m hoping that my participation in Team In Training will help bring them hope and support …

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My customer evangelist radar can always detect a not-waving-drowning plea for help between syllables. The unglamorous fact of fundraising life – unless you’re Lance, Haiti+CNN or Obama on his home run – is actually raising the funds. Getting people to click, donate and deplete their PayPal account. Not that easy, particularly in a recession. (Although I intuit that Paypal accounts are good targets – many people treat them like a bit of a piggy bank for chocolate money).

The old adage: win, win, win. People with these diseases certainly need help. But so does everyone as they gaze at their own navels.

I replied:

It’s a recession. Many are out of work, or need more sales to put tofu on the table.
You are certainly helping people with with MS et al.
But everyone needs help in their own way, and they are the center of their own universe.
Offer to create an ascending scale of cyber-nod for every donor. $10 gets a mention of name only. $20 gets sentence and a link. $50 gets paragraph, link and photo.  $100 gets more photos and a YouTube clip. You get the idea. And you pen an individual thank you /endorsement to every single donor.

Many of them will be friends. Is the $500 friend single and looking?

Append: “… Brett is also an amazing friend. He wants to meet a gal who likes playing paintball and dim sim blowouts and I can categorically say he never orders the fried stuff.”

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Is that person looking for a job? 

Append: “… Sue is an amazing writer. She re-wrote the invitation to my Amway evening and all of my friends except the one in a coma showed up.”

This way, you’ll be giving a leg up also to people with a business, needing a job, or wanting to something to communicate something to further their cause.

The customer evangelism part, is of course, recognizing when people appreciate the leg up, and marshaling insights from your relationship with them to leverage everyone’s causes. Theirs, yours, a third party’s, a fourth, fifth …

9 years working for a small company with a lean business model, but rabid customers who kept us in business, reminded me of one thing:

Win, win, win. Win, win.

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The Galfromdownunder, having been stopped twice because her socks said “Cycle Oregon” twigged that we should be wearing t-shirts with “1 less car, one smart gal available for hire“, “Ask me about my condo for rent” (show floorplan), “single with 750+ credit score” and so on. Why walk around advertising U2, Apple et al who need zero help, when we could be advertising our ownsomes – for free.

About the author

Lynette Chiang is an award-winning copywriter, brand evangelist, social media community manager, filmmaker, solo world bicycle adventurer and inventor of useful things. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Harvard University curriculums, the New York Times Book Review, FastCompany and the relationship marketing business press.

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