Take 9 minutes to watch this


I hadn’t come across David Foster Wallaces commencement speech (from 2005) – which later was turned into an essay called This Is Water. An excerpt of the speech has been taken and turned into this great 9 minute short, that is truly compelling and is worth watching. If it does nothing it will make you stop and think a bit more. You may not think you have the time, I’d urge you to take it.

Great apology

OB Tampons wanted to apologise for the discontinuation of one of their products, promising their customers that they will get it back on the shelves in the near future. To apologize, more than 100, 000 women received an email that led them to their own personal music video, and an apology. This viral had more than 3 millions hits only in one weekend. Clearly the brand felt they had something to apologise for, and a good way to go about it.

Who says one person can’t make a difference

The power of one, told brilliantly by Charity:Water.

Mortons Steakhouse – Great Customer Care

I was researching great customer care today and came across this brilliant story from Peter Shankman. He was a Mortons fan before this happened…but now he’s a Raving Fan for life. He posted this joke tweet:

and then this happened

And of course Twitter got hold of it…and loved it!

Maybe you can’t deliver steaks to the airport (hopefully the only reason for that is that you dont sell steaks!), but what can you do to create Raving Fans for your organisation.

SVdeP says thank you

I really like how SVdeP have done a campaign to say thanks following their Christmas Appeal. Well done folks

My dream for appreciation

No, I’m not looking for people to appreciate me. So what is this all about.

Well the wonderful Nancy Schwartz asked me if I would be interested in taking part in the Non Profit Blog Carnival this month. I wondered what I would talk about. The topic is ” What’s Your Dream”. So many dreams (lottery wins and that kind of thing) but as I spent a few days thinking more about it I thought about my dream for the sector, and my dream is for more appreciation.

I truly hope that 2012 is the year in which the sector embraces appreciation. I fundamentally believe that organisations that do appreciation well (and not just once) will thrive.

I hope that organisations will be creative in their appreciation, look for novel ways to reach those who support you. Here is an example that I gave to a non profit recently:

Think about all the schools who fundraise for you, all those kids (and parents) who care enough to take the effort to organise an event for you, bring money in, collect and count it and send it to you. What do you do to appreciate them? The answer is probably “we send them a letter” maybe it’s a card. Who cares, it’s generic and impersonal.

Enter dilemma…but we can’t visit all those schools we would be on the road 365.

Get Creative is the answer. Get in touch with the teacher in charge and organise a Skype video call with the class (or entire school). Answer their questions, say thanks. This will take 30 mins of your time.

Imagine how they will feel. Really good I’d say. Critics may suggest this is a bit like an award ceremony acceptance speech via video. Maybe. But it’s a hell of a lot better than just sending a letter.

So that’s my dream for this year, appreciation. More of it. More creative executions of it. So if you are in the mood for appreciation now is the time, answer the call….appoint your own director of appreciation this year.

Thanks for reading

Gifting is a two way thing

Christmas is only 50 days away (I think) and all the window displays and music has got me thinking about gifting. This is probably obvious, but I think it is often forgotten, gifting isnt just about the person who receives the gift.

If you think about Christmas time when you give a gift to someone, first of all you spend a decent amount of time thinking about the gift. You probably write a list of ideas, the kind of things this person would like, would maybe never buy for themselves but would really enjoy using. Then you take time to wrap the gift and give it to them. You love seeing the reaction on their face when you hand over the gift. It is even better if you are there when they open it and you get to see the delight on their face. The fact that you thought of them, that you knew them so well to get them this gift. You, as the giver of the gift, get a warm glow, a feeling of joy, at seeing that reaction.

So, as a non profit, think about the gift giving process. Think about how you feel when you give a gift, how you love to know how the gift has made the person who received it feel. Then think about your donors.

When they send you a gift, they want this feeling too. They may say they don’t, but the do. They don’t just give to make you and your mission happy. They give because they too want to feel a warm glow, a feeling of joy.

Your job is to make sure that they get this feeling. So many charities either don’t do this or do it really badly. It is my strong contention that doing this well will make you and your cause stand out from others.

Appreciation is a sustainable business model.