Wield Influence Just Like A Big Money Donor

You’re in for a treat today because you’re going to learn how you can be just like a large donor; without needing all of that money. Moreover, we’re going to tie this into our series of posts that take a cue from public radio with another variation on their more successful pledge drive themes, as defined by June Thomas’ excellent 2009 article in Slate Magazine on the topic of public radio pledge drives, to help promote the Orchestra 990 Database Project’s Kickstarter campaign.

Today’s Appeal Is About Influence: Do What The Big Money People Do

ADAPTISTRATION-GUY-025aHave you ever wondered what the secret is behind how wealthy donors become involved in projects? Let’s just keep this between us but the secret is simple: they leverage favors and one-upmanship.

Here’s one example; a wealthy insider decides to become part of an organization’s fundraising campaign knowing full well that each and every other wealthy insider they hit up for a donation is going to come back at a later date asking for a donation to his/her cause; and you can be damned well sure that you’re going to contribute when they come knocking. Break that cycle and you risk becoming a pariah.

Next up is leveraging advantage over your peers by contributing more than they did. “Hey there fellow wealthy insider, I heard you just gave $1 million to the Build-A-Thing campaign and I think that’s great; so much so that I just gave $1.5 million.”

Do you see how simple it is?*

And now you get a chance to practice both skills and enter the weekend riding the dual rush of high risk favor trading and market rate psychological validation; it will be like an emotional cocktail made from all your favorite top shelf spirits! How incredible is that?

Here’s all you need to do:

  1. If you’ve donated to a friend’s Kickstarter or similar type of project then this is the ideal time to demonstrate your reciprocal leverage and hit them up for a donation to the Orchestra 990 Database Project. If they don’t follow through then spurn them as you would a rabid dog. No mercy!
    Wealthy Insider Tip: you can use the country club as a good social setting to call on your colleagues since peer witnesses add extra pressure to comply; but if you don’t have a club membership, then Facebook and Twitter are fabulous surrogates and have the double benefit of acting like a social pressure force multiplier.
  2. Look at the list of current Orchestra 990 Database Project backers for one of your peers, see how much they pledged, then double it. Then promptly head over to Facebook and Twitter to post the pledge notice and make sure to tag your friends saying something like “Thanks for turning me on to such a great project [tag friend name here], I liked it so much I doubled your pledge. #GivingIsAwesome”

So what are you waiting for, there are only 14 days left and we have plenty of fundraising ground to cover so get out there and get your influence on.

If you haven’t already become a backer, you had better hurry or you’re going to risk being losing the opportunity to wield influence and leverage favors!

Become A Backer Today!
* My tone may be satirical, but in all honesty, this is how it essentially works more often than not.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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