Doing vs. Thinking
As I mentioned in the video, a few years ago, I was really into fitness. Now don’t get the wrong impression… I didn’t actually work out. But I read all about it!
I read recipes for healthy things I never made. I watched videos about good exercise programs I never did. I read magazines about healthy lifestyles, while sitting on the couch with a beer. I was feeling good!
I was thinking of this while listening yet again to Rachel Maddow explain the latest bizarre and corrupt actions of our administration. I was outraged, as per usual. And I went on Facebook for some validation and liked some posts which made me feel like I was actually doing something. But just like my fitness phase, all the doing was in my head.
Small but Regular Habits
Today, I ran on the treadmill as I do most mornings. I don’t have a particularly rigorous or extensive workout regime, but I’m doing something. This little, but consistent something, built around new habits, has had a tremendous impact on my health and how I feel. I didn’t need to do all the things, just a regular set of things.
I see this same “paralysis by analysis” among organizations and their digital programs. We are reading about so many tactics, so many changes to the algorithm, so many different best practices that most of the work we are doing is in our head.
Try to adopt some small, but impactful, digital habits and you will see your engagement grow… along with your donations, retention rates and sign-ups. For example, make some personal thank-you videos for new donors using your mobile phone (or better, use your phone on GV-One), share a personal milestone of someone in your community that has nothing to do with your cause, like a wedding or birth, or ask a long-time donor what it is they care so much about and hope to see in the future -- and share it.
The way to think about what habit to adopt is this: What can we do, everyday, that treats our constituents as human beings who want to have a positive impact? Don’t think about what you need to tell them or educate them about, but rather how their personal stories and aspirations intersect with your organization’s mission.
With some small constituent-centric habits, you’ll wake up at year-end and be amazed at how far you’ve come. And please report back! We’d love to learn about your efforts and share them with everyone.