publication date: May 4, 2012
author/source: Jonathon Grapsas
Steve Jobs shared many prophetic words in his life. In
business terms, for me, none were wiser than the following.
(And if you're an Apple geek
like me you'll totally understand how Jobs turned that vision into reality.)
"That's been one of my mantras-focus and
simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get
your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because
once you get there, you can move mountains."
I talk about focus and simplicity a lot,
because frankly, they're not among the core strengths of our sector.
When online retention works
Recently I hosted a webinar called "The
Art of Online Retention." We've been managing some successful monthly giving
retention programs specifically for face-to-face recruited donors. As I shared
the pillars of these programs with the participants, it became increasingly
apparent just how applicable Jobs' mantra was.
To illustrate this, take a look at the
things that made these programs so effective.
Simplicity and focus
content was regular and relevant to individual supporters, including requests
for ongoing feedback.
shared human stories of people helped by donors' monthly support.
were able to look, touch, listen and feel with content shared through video,
audio and the written word.
were encouraged to become agents of change by advocating as well as giving.
shared stuff from the desk of the CEO.
made it mobile friendly and easy.
content was delivered programmatically (in other words it was automated, taking
the pain out of complex retention programs).
There's no rocket science going on here.
It was simple because we made everything so easy and
seamless for supporters. We didn't make people work hard to understand how they
were making such a big dent in the problems of the world.
Simple design, simple language, simple messaging. We didn't
try to sound or look clever. We told it as it was - simply.
Content was focused in that it was completely about
supporters and reminding them why their monthly support was so critical.
In a world full of clutter and noise, stop every now and
again and remember what Jobs said. "It's worth it in
the end, because once you get there, you can move mountains."
Jonathon Grapsas is the founder and director at flat
earth direct, an agency dedicated to fundraising and campaigning for good
causes. Jonathon spends his time working with charities around the world
focused on digital, direct response and campaigning stuff.