Catching the Not-for-Revenue Goldfish – 101 Fundraising

goldfishIt’s Sunday morning and I’m serving to my 9 year-old son along with his math homework. 60 sums, 10 seconds every, all in his head. By query 50 he will get annoyed as ideas of Lego dominate. It’s like pulling enamel getting him to query 60. However I don’t blame him for this case. Asking for somebody’s consideration for greater than 10 seconds is asking rather a lot.

Assume I’m being a smooth contact? Assume once more.

A current analysis examine decided that the common consideration span of a goldfish is 9 seconds [1]. In 2000 scientists measured the common consideration span of grownup people. It was 12 seconds. In 2013 the identical take a look at revealed the common consideration span had dropped to eight seconds.

It’s a unhappy reflection of our society that we now have a mean consideration span that’s shorter than a goldfish. And it’s not shocking why.

Assuming I’ve nonetheless obtained your consideration take into account this:

  • Each minute on Fb 293,000 statuses are up to date, and 136,000 photographs are uploaded [2]
  • 17% of web site web page views final lower than 4 seconds. Solely 49% of phrases are learn on web site pages with 111 phrases or extra. The typical web site web page incorporates greater than 500 phrases. [1]

At no level in humanity’s evolutionary historical past have we had entry to extra data. Nevertheless it’s getting somebody to note your message within the first place that’s the problem.

So why is that this related to charities?

Simply ask your supporters – donors and non-financial supporters – how efficient they understand your organisation to be, in comparison with a gaggle of organisations with the same vary of programme actions. I’ve seen outcomes the place upwards of 40% of supporters choose “Can’t Determine” – a sobering indication that charity communications will not be being as efficient as they need to be.

So how are you going to catch the not-for-profit goldfish’s consideration? Remembering the GOLDfish simply might assist.


When was the final time you acquired a bit of communication from an organisation that made you’re feeling good; a message that made you suppose you’re speaking with an individual, not a robotic? A good way to make one thing memorable is to speak with real authenticity and sincerity –extremely onerous to attain on this hyper-cynical age, however it may be achieved.

For instance not too long ago I positioned an order from an organization referred to as Pedestrian Press. The order affirmation contained typo errors, nevertheless it clearly wasn’t auto-generated. The e-mail was written by the proprietor and he expressed his real gratitude for my enterprise. It made me really feel nice. And in feeling nice, I felt compelled to inform others (you) about his firm.

Speaking with real authenticity helps make the not-for-profit GOLDfish take discover.


Organisations that wish to talk with supporters in surprising methods have to be ready for the surprising and open to completely different prospects. Your supporters gained’t have a replica of your model tips, however they may share your values and conviction.

Solid your thoughts again to 2010 when Greenpeace took on Nestlé over the usage of palm oil in Package Kat. After the profitable conclusion of the marketing campaign, the environmental activists reported that many supporters: “wore [their] help on [their] sleeves’ Fb-style by altering profile footage to pictures of orang-utans, rainforest, and our marketing campaign Package Kat ‘killer’ emblem. By letting supporters discuss Package Kat and Nestlé in their very own phrases, the marketing campaign gathered a momentum all of its personal.

Serving to supporters to speak about your organisation in their very own approach holds the eye the not-for-profit GOLDfish.


Albert Einstein as soon as mentioned: “For those who can’t clarify it merely, you don’t perceive it properly sufficient”. As a way to make one thing memorable, it’s essential to get to the guts of what you wish to say rapidly – ideally inside the first 60 phrases. Deal with the why you do what you do, not simply the what you do. Use easy language and take a look at the readability of your phrases. Utilizing on-line readability instruments [3] to evaluate your language can assist, as can a pal who shouldn’t be afraid to offer sincere suggestions.

The not-for-profit GOLDfish will get distracted VERY simply. Say what you need to, clearly, merely and rapidly.


There’s a distinction between interruption and disruption in the case of communication. Donors have remarkably refined methods of dealing the deluge of charity messages. Messages that interrupt can simply be seen as an annoyance and be ignored. The window of alternative for disruptive communications to stay surprising is small. Take the Ice Bucket Problem final yr. Many organisations mimicked the Problem, which led to over-sharing and in doing so the very essence of disruption was misplaced.

To catch the not-for-profit GOLDfish it’s essential to ship your communications disruptively, in surprising methods.

So the following time your organisation is planning a marketing campaign and desires the not-for-profit goldfish to take discover ask your self the 4 questions:

  • What’s going to make the message real and genuine?
  • What’s going to empower our supporters to ship the marketing campaign message in their very own approach?
  • What’s the easiest and clearest language we will use to convey our message?
  • What’s going to make the message surprising?

[1] Nationwide Centre for Biotechnology Info, U.S. Nationwide Library of Drugs, The Related Press
[2] The Social Skinny
[3]In keeping with this text scores 60.7 within the Flesch-Kincaid Studying Ease take a look at which implies it may be understood by 13-15 yr outdated college students. A rating of lower than 30 is greatest understood by college graduates

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