Ep 124 | What Motivates Your Donors

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In this episode, I will share with you the different ways we can get sponsorships and donations for our businesses. Building the support system and those amenities that those top-level executives would love, supporting the community, and how we can have the conversations with people in a way that brings value. 

What you will hear in this episode:

  • My personal story about my family that you can use to reach out to other organizations.
  • Building the community. Making sure there are different benefits for kids and families.
  • Building a support system and amenities that the top-level executives would love.
  • How to talk to sponsors in a way that brings value to them.
  • Playing with people’s connection to arts.
  • Playing on the economic level.

Want to skip ahead? Here are some key takeaways

[4:29] Building up the community. Supporting the community. Make sure there are different benefits and opportunities for kids and families.
[6:20] How to talk to sponsors in a way that provides value to them. When we make it completely about us and make it mission-driven, sometimes it gets lost in translation. Make them feel like without them, nothing is possible.
[8:40] Playing with people’s connection to arts. It is a great tactic. Go to people you know who love a particular art and ask them if they can sponsor them.
[8:50] Playing on the economic level. For example, go to the restaurants and say that we already have a bus for 60 people coming in for this event, and for that, we will try and get them to come to your restaurant for dinner or hotel rooms.

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Full Transcript

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] You're listening to the digital marketing therapy podcast, Sami here, your host. And I'm so happy that you have spent some time today, listening to this lovely episode. I hope that you like it. I'm getting a little bit more personal with this episode today. And I wanted to talk about motivations, why donors are motivated to give, and maybe a different way to think about how we go around that and how we have conversations and how we kind of bring opportunities to businesses and individuals and make it easy for them to say yes when we're asking them for money. And I'm going to do this by sharing a personal story about my family and kind of some of the different motivations that my dad has had at least my perception, this is totally my perception, but some motivations that he has had forgiving in some ways that I think you can use that to reach out to other organizations get sponsorships to get donations, all of the things. So I hope you enjoy it. 

 But before we get into it, this episode is brought to you by our digital marketing therapy sessions. So these are 30-minute sessions that you can book with me to just talk about whatever. Maybe you want to talk about brainstorming some ways, and some people that you can reach out to now that you kind of thought differently about motivations. Maybe it is that you want to talk through your email strategy or your website, whatever it is, these are 30-minute sessions that you can book at the first click.net/officehours, and just keep moving and, and not get stuck by the tech or, or all of the things that you're feeling frustrated with. Okay, so thefirstclick.net/officehours. And I look forward to learning more about your organization. Let's get into the episode.

[Intro] You're listening to the digital marketing therapy podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. And each week, I bring you tips from myself and other experts, as well as hot seats with small business owners and entrepreneurs to demystify digital marketing and get you on your way to generating more leads and growing your business.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern]  So, I will never forget the day that my dad called me, I was in college, and he called me and he said, Hey, this is going public on the radio tomorrow. So I thought you should probably hear this from me first. Now, that's never a good sign. I was definitely nervous about what that meant, what that would look like, what was going on. And he proceeded to tell me that he was donating a large sum of money to my high school to help them build the Performing Arts Center, a new Performing Arts Center. Now keep in mind, I had my dad, my grandpa, right all went to the same school, I had done all my performances in the same auditorium that my grandfather had done his high school performances in it was condemned, you know, a couple of years back, and the school was doing everything in the gym. And so I was super excited to hear that they were adding a new Performing Arts Center, it was much needed. And he says, well, because we're giving so much money, we have the opportunity to name it. And I've decided that I'm going to name it after you. So I immediately felt all the fields, I was flattered. I was embarrassed. I was you know, curious about like, what my role was going to be and you know, normally things are named In Memoriam or what have you. But yeah, so you know, that happened. And it was a few days later that I kind of hit me. And I was like, you know, it's interesting that he would do this now because I was out of school. There are four kids in my family, and my baby brother was the only one that would still be in high school when this was completed. And he doesn't do anything in the arts. He's the only one of us that doesn't do music. He only does sports. So it kind of hit me at that moment, you know, like, why would he do this? Knowing that none of his kids can participate and take advantage. Um, and so it didn't dawn on me until many years later. You know that his motivation was not necessarily you know, some people will build these things out to their kids can take advantage of them, what have you. And that wasn't his motivation. It was more so kind of really building up the community and supporting the community in making sure that different there were different benefits and there were different opportunities for kids and for families.

 Now, again, this is totally my perception of how it all kind of goes down. My dad also was the largest employer at that time in our town. We're from a small town, a tourist town. So a lot of our income was from tourism, so very seasonal. But he had a business that was international and operated out of our small town. So he also had to bring in executives that, you know, moving to a small town in the Midwest might not be the most ideal situation. And so some of the stuff that he did in the community was benefiting, kind of building up that support system. And those amenities that some of these high-end executives are top, I should say, high end, top-level executives would want if they're going to move their family to kind of a more remote location. And so that kind of was a trigger for me, and really thinking about the motivations behind why people give. 

So yes, he was giving because he wanted to support the community because he saw a need in the various areas that he participated in. But it also served a secondary sub-service of providing those amenities to like as an option for some of these folks that he was trying to recruit to bring into the business. And so it was a big lesson in the kind of thinking about how do we have conversations with people? And how do we talk to them in a way that provides value to them? Because yes, we want those donations, we need those donations. But when we make it completely about us and make it completely mission-driven, sometimes it gets lost in translation. 

And instead, we need to have conversations with them where they are make it about them and make them feel like without them, nothing would be possible. And so the performing arts center gets built, we have an amazing and a beautiful grand opening. It's a beautiful facility, the school uses it all the time. But one of the other things that he created when this was built was a nonprofit organization that was going to be responsible for the booking of national acts. So like I mentioned, it was kind of a two-fold thing, right, let's support the school. But let's also make sure that it's a venue that we can bring in top-notch talent that wouldn't normally come to our area. And then that is an added value for the community as well. Plus, the school as a public school cannot book touring acts, right? They can't spend money doing that. So that organization was set up and they started doing that work, they started raising funds in order to have I think, I don't know, they were doing like six to eight shows a year at that time.

 So here's where I mean, obviously, we all would love to get the multi multi-million dollar donors, right that that's not as common, especially for capital campaigns and building things out, maybe you might be able to but those folks get tapped all the time. But here's where it gets interesting. So when this facility opened, and there were some performances that were coming through, because, you know, we're in such a remote area, there were buses of people that were coming in from different regional areas to come and watch the shows, which was wonderful. And so here's where there was an opportunity for fundraising. It's not just about, you know, they had to fundraise for every show. So, you know, there's a couple of things that they could do. They could go after people and say, you know, well, Hey, I know you're really interested in rock and roll. We've got this, you know, rock and roll cover band that's coming. Would you love to sponsor them? Or we know you really love theater Here's this show that's coming, would you like to sponsor right, so we can definitely play on people's emotional connection to the arts. And that's a great tactic. But I love the play on an economic level. 

 So these buses are coming in from all different areas to the shows now, or its people, families, whatever coming in, and you know, they need to have dinner, they need to have a place to spend the night right. Suddenly, there's an economic impact on the area for the shows that are happening. So instead of just going after people and saying, Hey, why don't you donate because you like rock and roll. It's going, it's changing our mind frame and changing our target. So it's going to restaurants and it's saying, Hey, we know for this show, we already have a bus of 60 people that are coming in, we would love for you to sponsor the show. And for that, one of the perks will be you know, we'll you know, try to get them to come to your restaurant for dinner, or we'll offer you know, a special for hotel rooms for that night specific if they stay at your place. Right. You get to be the exclusive hotel partner. And it could be going to gas stations and saying, you know, hey, you're the closest gas station to us. 

 People are going to be coming into town for this show. They might need gas on the way out. Because we know on average, people are driving two hours to get here X amount of miles, right? So they'll probably need to get gas or some snacks on their way home. So it's really paying attention to the data around your audience and saying, Okay, how can we use these economic decisions to or that we know our attendees or our users or whoever is that they represent. And then using that to make it an easier sell to some of these other organizations to be sponsors. I just think it's a really creative way to think about fundraising to think about event sponsorships, specifically. Um, and another reason to really use data and you can pull data from so many places, so you can pull it from, you know, your Google Analytics, you can pull it from your ticket sales locations, right? 

You can send surveys out to your audience that's attending, there are so many ways that you can do that. But I highly recommend that you pull that information so that you can use it to maximize your conversations with these companies because they're getting hit up all the time. And we know that right? So how incredible would it be to walk into the room with value for them to say, hey, here is who our audiences, they're best suited for you, we believe that this is going to be a great option, we have one restaurant partner, and all you have to do is donate at this level. And what we'll do for you is to book as many people as we can reservations at your place that you can hold before and after the show, you know, yadda, yadda, yadda, yadda, yadda. So, I hope that this is something that will trigger some unique thought processes in your mind and in the way that you speak to potential people. So circling back to the case of my father, um, you know, his motivation was definitely altruistic, but then it was also economic, right? How do I make sure that I can recruit top talent for my company, which is ultimately going to help grow my business, which is ultimately going to help me have more funds that I can put back into the community? So it kind of becomes this full circle conversation, which still continues today, right? He doesn't work or run that company anymore, but he's still very much involved in the community there. And so I just bring this story up to kind of get you to not always go into conversations, talking about yourself, but talking about the value that you can provide to a potential sponsor or a potential donor that's going to get them to say yes to you compared to saying yes to a like-minded organization that might be doing similar things that you're doing or just any other organization in general as a whole. 

I hope you found this helpful. And if you did, I would love it. If you would DM me, I'm at the First Click Marketing on Facebook and Instagram. Let me know you know, what kind of conversations you think you're going to start having with some of your donors. And I hope that you'll subscribe to these episodes so that you don't miss a single one. I so enjoy putting these together for you. And hope that I am really helping you think outside the box when it comes to your nonprofit organization and how you are gaining visibility. That's it for this episode, and I will see you in the next one.


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