Influencers Are Powerful (right?)

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What is an Influencer?

An influencer is an individual who has the power to affect the purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with their audience. Influencers are Powerful.
An individual who has a following in a particular niche, which they actively engage with, the size of the following depends on the size of the niche.

Have you ever heard of Joanna Goddard and her blog site A Cup of Jo?

https://cupofjo.com  Chances would be yes if you are an avid lifestyle blog reader, she might even be one of your favorites.  She sure is one of mine!

In 2007, Joanne created a lifestyle blog that she calls A Cup of Jo.  She focuses on Style, Design, Food, Travel, Relationships, and Motherhood, especially that of Motherhood is one of her most significant topics.  After two years A Cup of Jo had grown at an exponential rate that it became Joanne’s full-time job.   In 2017, Forbes named A Cup of Jo as one of the Top 10 Lifestyle Websites for Women.  Joanna Goddard is now defined, in this Social Media obsessed world, as an Influencer.  

Joanna had some high-profile positions at such notable companies as Cosmopolitan, Bene, Glamour and Martha Stewart Living. It was suggested to Joanna by her brother one day to have her own blog.  Joanna had been incredibly successful blogging for other companies, why not start her own.  

Now, let’s think of how significantly a nonprofit organization could benefit by utilizing the impressionable powers of an influencer to help boost their cause.   This could be very impactful, but a few guidelines, tips, should be taken into consideration.  

Find influencers who believe in your cause.  

“Influence is not a measure of follower size, but rather of authenticity,” said Influential CEO Ryan Detert.  “These influencers are the leaders of their space because they are demographically, contextually, and psychographically relevant to their audiences.”

For example, your nonprofit organization primary focus is on solving childhood hunger in the United States, would you implement an influencer that had no emotional connection with hunger or the well-being of children?   It is critical to find those influencers who have some relationship to what you are doing.   A nonprofit organization whose mission is solving childhood hunger would greatly benefit from an influencer like Joanne Goddard because of her connection to food, children, and motherhood.  

Make sure you find an influencer that is genuine and transparent.  

For example, your nonprofit organization primary focus is on solving childhood hunger in the United States, would you implement an influencer that had no emotional connection with hunger or the well-being of children?   It is critical to find those influencers who have some relationship to what you are doing.   A nonprofit organization whose mission is solving childhood hunger would greatly

Another tip to take into consideration when picking the ‘right’ influencer is that they are genuine and want to engage truly with your cause.  This will not go unrecognized by your donors, and they will appreciate this transparency.   A sincere testimonial from an influencer provides authenticity to the relationship and, more importantly, credibility to the nonprofits organization’s brand. 

Influencers will share on ALL their social media platforms, happy retweeting!

We have all heard of the commonly used phrase, “sharing is caring.”  Definitely, this can apply to nonprofit organizations implementation of a relationship with an influencer.   The influencer of your choice needs to be also sharing your nonprofit cause across their social platforms.  “This puts a stamp of credibility; they like what you are doing and are endorsing your knowledge, expertise or service,” Pamela Hawley, UniversalGiving. 

Joanne Goddard is clearly passionate about children and her motherhood responsibilities, making blogging a career from it.    Nonprofits align with influencers who share your same vision, sky’s the limit for your cause.   ‘Do Good’.!!!

Intended Impact & Theory of Change

Nonprofits are needed now more than ever

Imagine being a child in the streets of San Francisco and having no place to call home, it is just heartbreaking.  Sadly, this is a reality, and according to Larkin Street Youth Services, a nonprofit organization, it happens at an alarming rate.  Stating, “tonight more than 1,300 young people will find themselves on the streets of San Francisco through no fault of their own.”

Established in 1984, Larkin Street Youth Services have made the statement that tomorrow must be different – our collective future depends on it. They are aiding more than 75,000 young people a safe place to rebuild their lives.   Larkin provides housing, education, employment training, health, and wellness awareness, helping these young people get off the streets for good.

Non Profits are needed now more than ever

We all love to hear these wonderful humanitarian success stories that genuinely change the lives of so many in a community.   However, success like that of Larkin does not happen by chance.  Today, nonprofits are faced with limited resources against seemingly unlimited needs, stifling financial issues.   Nonprofit leaders have the daunting task of running their organizations on ‘peanuts’ of a budget, squeezing the most out of each dollar to have the maximum benefit.   Juggling, getting critical resource decisions right – allocating time, talent, and dollars to the activities that have the most significant impact.  This is what “strategy” is all about. Relatively few nonprofits – even the most successful – have strategies in this pragmatic sense of the word.

So how do you bridge nonprofit’s missions and its programmatic activities, so we have increased success stories?  Two concepts that nonprofits need to implement, Intended Impact and Theory of Change!

Intended Impact

Intended impact is a statement or series of statements about what the organization is trying to achieve and will hold itself accountable for within some manageable period of time. It identifies both the benefits the organization seeks to provide and the beneficiaries.   Larkin leadership decided that their intended impact was to help San Francisco Bay Area homeless youth between the ages of 12 and 24 exit life on the street permanently. By specifying which youth the agency will focus on and the outcome that will constitute success, this intended impact clarifies Larkin’s strategic priorities in a way the mission statement does not.

Theory of Change

Theory of change explains how the organization’s intended impact will actually happen, the cause-and-effect logic by which organizational and financial resources will be converted into the desired social results.  An example of this is from a familiar story about a small village on the edge of a river.  Village life was good; children enjoyed playing in the river’s water, mothers washed their clothes and fathers fished.   One day, alarming, a man’s body was found floating done the river.  Everyone in the village ran to aid to pull the man to safety.  Barely alive, the village nursed him back to health.   However, day in and day out, more and more, almost dead, bodies kept coming down the river.   

One day a man in the village put on his walking shoes and started to head up the river, leaving the village.   Another fellow Villager shouted out, “you can’t leave now; we need everyone to help take care of all of the people we pulled from the river.”  The Villager shouted back, “It’s about time someone goes upstream to find out why these people are falling in the river in the first place.”

Out of this story are three possible Theories of Change:

  • We pull people out of the river and nurse them back to health.
  • We go upstream and prevent the problem in the first place.
  • Alternatively, we combine the two.  Help people in need and also work towards preventing the problem in the first place.

By nonprofit organizations implementing and building strategies versus expecting that a mission statement will get the desired result is foolish.  Let the power of ‘intended impact’ and ‘theory of change’ help move your organization forward and provide better leadership skills.  


Philanthropist- Not just a name for the high powered anymore

We always hear about this tech giant or that business mogul and how much their foundations gave to a charity. But what about us every day folk, how do we get to reach the pinnacle of our own philanthropic legacy or even reach a foothill or just get recognized for our efforts?

We equate a philanthropist as someone who has built a war chest of money and has given it back to a cause or movement and we recognize those types of people for their good heartiness, as though we should.

But a philanthropic legacy should not be just for the rich and famous.

The everyday person should also have the ability to build a philanthropic legacy and be rewarded, highlighted and recognized for their efforts for all to see.   

Building ones philanthropic legacy should not just be about how much money you give, how big your foundation is or how much of your income goes towards a cause it should also be about ones passion for a cause and the influence they have to ensure its word gets out to people to help keep moving the cause forward no matter how big or small the cause is.

We tend to call these types of people volunteers or advocates not philanthropists. Although every cause needs volunteers or advocates to ensure its success but a lot of times nonprofit organizations have a vetting process to become a volunteer or advocate and because of that they are leaving a lot of awareness and even donations on the table.

Now I am sure every nonprofit can argue the point as to why they need to vet someone who is the face of the cause and that is fine I am not talking about those types of people.

I am talking about the everyday person who has the ability to enhance a cause or movement just by their sphere of influence, a person who in some form or another may have an emotional tie to a cause or knows someone who does and needs a platform to show their sphere of influence about that cause and how they can help and be recognized for their efforts.

I am talking about the everyday person who can wake up in the morning and feel good about themselves knowing they made a difference for the good and think what they can do today to keep feeling that emotion day in and day out as they are building their own philanthropic legacy.

These are the types of philanthropic people we are leaving behind and certainly not recognizing them for their efforts.

Nonprofit organizations seem to have blinders on in the way they look at their campaigns and focus too much on the, “who are my vetted volunteers and advocates that can help” and “what I have in my database right now that can give” instead of maybe opening up their eyes and also allowing everyone who wants to become a volunteer or advocate pitch in and help.

If the everyday person can influence hundreds or thousands or even dozens of people to a cause just by providing a platform in which they can achieve a personal philanthropic goal and be recognized for their efforts, why would we not want them as volunteers or advocates and allow them to utilize the tools to achieve those goals in order for a fundraising campaign to thrive and hit their goals?   

Influence the Cause – Providing a platform for everyone to build their philanthropic legacy, one cause at a time.

Jerry Tuzil- Co-Founder

jerry@influencethecause.com

The NEXT Generation of fundraising

Every nonprofit, cause or movement knows, or at least should know, they can rely on some of their regular long term donors to help their fund raising campaigns. They even know how much they will give to support their cause and even when they will give.

But every nonprofit struggles with relying on and how to predict millennial activity on a consistent basis.

Now I can list the factors as to why or give the top ten best ways to attract millennials but that would still be impossible to measure their reliability on a consistent basis and that’s because of the attention span of a millennial and the amount of stuff that bombards them on a daily basis.

Millennials attention span is measured in seconds and then deleted. Deleted from their electronic devise and from their brains in most cases.

They receive hundreds or even thousands of items on their devises a day and range from every category of anything that one can think of. Getting them to concentrate on one thing is not an easy task.

But there is one thing millennials do on a consistent basis that your long term donors do not and that’s their competency to share with their sphere of influence. Share with their friends, share with their family, share with the world if they could.

If a cause can have thousands of eye balls reading a cause message, even if only for seconds, would that not attract more support for that cause?

If the people who are eyeballing the cause message can be rewarded and recognized just for sharing a cause message, would that not attract more millennials sharing your cause message?  

If you were able to track and score that activity and show the millennial their progress, would that not get their attention a little more?

If you were to let’s say create a game within your fundraising campaign.

A game to where every millennial can be rewarded and recognized for helping support your cause.

A game to where the sharing and/or donating can be done for more than one cause at a time and the more they share and/or donate to any cause the more rewards and recognition one can receive.

A game to where every person in the world can be a “volunteer” of your cause to help your cause movement and it would not take any longer than to share a picture.

A game to where anyone who wanted to play can build their philanthropic legacy through points and badges and reach personal emotional heights for all to see.

So how does a gaming within a fundraising campaign convert shares into donations?

It’s all in the numbers. You can read any report given by the fundraising industry experts and it tells you that x amount of people you reach equates to y amount of donations.

And if one digs deeper into gaming reports it will tell you that a gamer average age is over 30 years old and it’s about the same percentage of men to woman.

(This video will put it in perspective).

Bet you did not know that.  

So you see gaming is not just for the teenagers killing zombies.  

Gaming is about engaging and retaining and competing against yourself or others in order to reach a personal emotional plateau no matter what generation you are.   

Supporting a cause should be rewarding, whether emotionally, spiritual, receiving a thank you, a gift, or in any other form, otherwise why would one help?

Allowing a person to “volunteer” their efforts through gaming inside a fundraising campaign to help spread its message and reach their goal should not be a hindrance or costly to any size cause and should generate an emotional rewarding response for the “volunteer”.   

Once supporters understand that they are helping the world and building a personal legacy it will undoubtedly grab their attention and keep them coming back for their emotional fix in which can be tracked and analyze for future campaigns.

Influence the Cause is a platform built for just that.

A way to attract and retain a supporter within a fundraising campaign through gamification and provide a gamer the tools to reach a personal emotional level and be rewarded and recognized while helping every cause achieve their goals.

A platform where any size fund raising campaign can create and promote their campaign

A platform that allows any supporter to become emotionally tied to a campaign

A platform to where supporters are recognized and rewarded for their ongoing efforts  

A platform where sponsors can promote their support right inside a campaign  

A platform where every supporter can build their philanthropic legacy by supporting a cause for all to see  

A platform to help fundraising campaigns spread their message using 21st century technology no matter what their resource capabilities are     

Gamification is not about playing it’s about building and no matter what age bracket one is in building a legacy is an emotion we all want to leave in some form or another.

We call it PLAYANTHROPY  

Influence the Cause– The NEXT Generation of fundraising platforms