Harvard Business Review's Management Tips of the day on 21st July included '3 Ways to Convince a Skeptic'. Overall I agreed with two out of three but I honestly don't think that stroking egos works more than the first time you try it (unless your sceptic is unperceptive and stupid). That's because 'convincing' is about more than persuading.
In the worlds of marketing, fundraising, communications, sales and lots of other organisational affairs, it's about engaging with the sceptics sufficiently so that they will act in the way you need them to.
A few weeks ago, the Pennies Foundation published some market research that showed that the public “increasingly like giving methods that don’t require long term commitment”. According to Pennies Foundation – which, though I am sure it is of no relevance, makes and markets a giving method that doesn’t require long term commitment – the public had “resoundingly confirmed” that “not having to commit to regular donations, the ability to give small sums at the time of their choosing and to make a spontaneous decision” were are key factors that encourage them to donate to charity.
And this was trumpeted as if it were a Good Thing. This is, in fact, a Very Bad Thing.
On returning from a lovely holiday in France this week, I’ve spent time catching up on news, emails and generally chasing down what I missed whilst away.
The headline which caught my eye concerned the launch of BT’s new online giving service, myDonate, because it touched a nerve that’s been exposed a fair bit over the last several weeks. Simply put, too much communication from all sorts of sources over-promises and under-delivers. The major splash across pages reporting the BT story was something like “BT enters online fundraising market with fee-free offer to rival JustGiving and Virgin Money”. But it isn’t free, is it.
Charities still pay credit card fees (albeit at reduced rates). On checking my insurance cover for a recent claim I found out that a clause buried deep in the small print and not mentioned during the sales process, meant that I was not covered for what I perceived to be legitimate and accidental damage to my property.
One of the best parts of my job is that people bring new ideas to me to develop into workable, real-world solutions for the charity sector. Sometimes they don't take off but occasionally, I come across people who are thinking really creatively about how to help others.
I want to share one such idea with you in this blog which potentially sees the financial 'system' working for vulnerable individuals and investors alike.