Fundraising & Salting The Jar


So you walk into your favorite bar or coffee shop, and you see a tip jar on the counter. You know what I am talking about. It is a jar with a handwritten message: "TIPS." It is a see-through glass jar, and it has money in it.


And, when you go to your bar or coffee shop, you notice that the "tips" jar is NEVER empty! Trust me when I tell you, THIS IS A SIGNIFICANT OBSERVATION.


IF your bartender or barista is wise, they will NEVER let you see that jar empty... AND, what is inside that jar (pennies, nickels, dimes, or dollar bills) is EXTREMELY VITAL!


What's up with that?


Your bartender (or barista) knows something that you, as a fundraiser, may not know. It has to do with what they call "salting the jar."


Here's what they do.


Before you arrive, before anyone has the opportunity to leave them a tip, THEY PUT THEIR OWN MONEY IN THE JAR!


They are well aware of the effect it will have on you.


When you see the jar, and it is empty, they know it tells you something. It tells you that tipping is not something that people do here.


When you see an empty "tips" jar, you are less likely to leave a tip.


HOWEVER, when you see that jar half filled with money, you are more likely to leave a tip. You will also look into the jar to determine what is the normal tip. If you see one-dollar bills, you are more likely to give a one-dollar tip. If you see five-dollar bills you are more likely to give a five-dollar tip, etc.


So, before you arrive, the bartender or barista puts their own money in the jar!

YOUR BARTENDER OR BARISTA WILL NEVER LET YOU SEE THAT JAR EMPTY.


You see the jar, and it speaks to you. What does it say?


THE TIPS JAR WITH MONEY IN IT TELLS YOU THAT OTHER PEOPLE LIKE YOU LEFT TIPS.


Why does that matter? SEEING WHAT OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE LIKE YOU DO COMPELS YOU TO DO THE SAME.


Social psychologists understand this as "social proof." We tend to do what we see other people, who are like us, do. We all ask ourselves this question frequently: "What do other people like me do in this situation?" As humans, determining proper behavior by looking at others is hard-wired into us.


Social proof is why:

  • TV sitcoms have laugh tracks (they are telling you that you should think this is funny and laugh)

  • We buy on Amazon after we read the product reviews

  • PBS spends so much time on their telethon telling you who just gave

  • A little plug-in comes on when you visit your travel website telling you that ten people just booked that same hotel room

  • Great websites show happy customers consuming their product or service

Social proof is the tool we use to give others the gift of going second.


How do we use that in fundraising? By telling stories of others who have already given.


Telling stories of others who support our mission is social proof.


When you tell stories of people who give monthly, you tell potential donors that giving monthly is what they should do.You are salting the jar! You are giving potential donors the gift of going second.


When you tell stories of people who volunteer at your organization, you tell potential volunteers that volunteering at your organization is what they should do. You are salting the jar. You are giving volunteers the gift of going second.


When you tell stories of people who leave legacy gifts to your mission, you are telling people they should also leave legacy gifts to your mission. You are salting the jar. You are giving legacy givers the gift of going second.


STORY IS THE CURRENCY OF HISTORY AND WHAT FUNDRAISERS COLLECT TO PAY THEIR DONORS.


You should use stories to salt the jar for your nonprofit.


You must salt the jar BEFORE you can expect to raise major funds.


End-of-year fundraising: Before you get to November and December, you must make sure your 'jar' is 'salted.'

  • Tell stories in January

  • Ask for money in February

  • Tell stories in April

  • Ask for money in May

  • Tell stories in October

  • Ask for money in November & December


In the past, I have talked to you about The Four Stories To Tell Before The End-Of-Year. (Episode four, MTMG).

  1. Beneficiary story

  2. Volunteer story

  3. Donor story

  4. Legacy donor story

Nothing has the power to propel the urgency of your mission more than telling the right stories at the right time.


NOTHING INSPIRES ACTION FOR THE GREATER GOOD MORE THAN STORIES.


The problem: We tell stories about ourselves, our staff, our buildings, our classes, our degrees, our equipment, ad nauseam!


You salt the jar when you tell the right stories at the right time!


One of the first things I get my clients to do is to collect and start telling stories about impact. Do it well and trust me, the dollars will roll in. The better you are at storytelling, the more money you will raise.


Think about your next appeal. Will it tell stories or statistics?


What about your next presentation? Will it tell the stories of the life-change your organization brings?


What about your website's landing page? Does it bring your potential donor into the power of a story?


What about the "about us" page on your website? Is it all about your degrees and accomplishments, OR does it harness the power of a story that pulls people in?


What about your next staff meeting? Do you share stories that foster alignment with the vision and inspire and encourage staff members?


How are you maximizing the power of story?


Raising more money means telling more and better stories.


The better you turn your statistics into stories, the more the world will listen.

Need some help crafting stories for your mission? I have created a free resource, Five Stories To Tell To Fully Fund Your Vision. It is free, my gift to you. I want to help you change the world.


It is free, no strings attached. CLICK HERE TO GET IT.


David

P.S. Are you doing your fundraising alone without a trusted coach? Consider joining the Minor Touches To Major Impact Fundraising Accelerator with me.



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Your Response To A Gift Speaks VOLUMES​​

Why Your Nonprofit MUST Be Able To Describe A World Where It Is NOT Needed​​

Stop Asking Donors To Help You Help People​​

Do I Have To Meet With Donors Face-To-Face?​​

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