I heard a speaker say one time that proximity creates passion. In other words, the closer you are to something the more bought in you become. College sports teams are the best examples of this. The excitement around the university during a football season impacts everyone in town. Local businesses will rename products to match the school mascot. The local paper will write about the team weekly if not daily. The coach and the players become the center of attention because the entire community is bought in and wants them to win. You can almost taste the excitement if you are close to campus but… as people move farther away, that excitement fades.
The same is true for your followers. Keeping people close to your mission keeps them passionate about your cause. Infrequent communication is the digital equivalent of being “too far away”. Often, I have noticed that most charities don’t talk to their followers enough. As a result, they struggle to generate the excitement in their community that enables long term success.
This infrequent communication could be a result of many different things such as huge time constraints or (legitimately) being concerned about spamming someone’s inbox if you send them too many messages. These can all seem like very good reasons but contrary to popular belief, people want to hear from you.
So….to sustain the excitement try:
Mixing up your messages. For communication to large groups. Every message doesn’t need to be an appeal. Invite people into your smaller victories like signing off on a new office space or hiring a new team member. Show them the progress you’re making on a recently launched program. People want to hear your good news, especially in 2020.
Building seasonality into your cadence. For things like giving Tuesday or your organization’s “birthday” make it a big deal for your community and do that every year. Everyone loves birthdays, anniversaries and festive seasons. Take advantage of that.
Mixing up your marketing channels. Remember, communication doesn’t always need to be an email. If you have an active social media following it can be a small tweet or a post on Instagram. Images sometimes can say far more than words. It will also protect your time so that don’t always have to come up with a lot of content.
Going “old school”. Twenty years ago people were so excited to get an email. Today, the roles have switched. They’re far more excited to get a handwritten note. You don‘t need to do this for everyone but maybe find 20 people a month that you can send a personal note to on behalf of your charity.
Done well, your audience will walk away from your interactions with renewed excitement for your mission. Over time this enables appeals to get easier and stories about what you’re doing to spread. So pick one and try it today.