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Guerrilla Fundraising With the Mind of a Child

Have We Forgotten Our Most Effective Skills? By Viken Mikaelian

I often remind fundraisers about Zig Ziglar, a motivational speaker, who once told a story of the saleswoman who could hear a yes whispered from 50 feet away but was deaf to a no yelled directly into her ear.

There's a broader principle buried in that story than just the narrow-to-selling axiom that "the sale begins when the customer says no." It is amazing how many real estate agents, insurance salesmen, and fundraisers give up after a third try.

I often get requests from nonprofits to help them with a one-time mailing.  I remind them that if they're going to mail once, stop before they do that one mailing. One shot deals never work. They're like one-night stands. My clients know that. You'll need at least 7 to 12 strong touches a year to keep your prospects on your radar screen.  Touches include a phone call, a mailing, another mailing, a visit to your planned giving website, exposure to display ads, a Thanksgiving card...

That number 7 to 12 is important, and easily and readily doable with our guerrilla marketing tactics.

In fact, I once heard of a survey that revealed that if little Jane and Joe wanted something from their mommy and daddy, it would take an average of 9 to 12 nags until they got what they want. Should we learn from children?

Recently, according to Success Magazine, industry leaders have tapped into an idea that philosophers (like Nietzsche) and scientists (like Einstein) have long championed: that it is useful and sometimes necessary for people to think like children to achieve success as adults.

If you want to learn how to market or to negotiate, learn from kids. It's a pity we gain more inhibitions as we grow up.

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