Seth Godin is one of today’s foremost business authors and bloggers. We at Asking Matters read his blog daily and are often struck by how applicable his ideas are to the nonprofit world and particularly to fundraising. So with huge thanks to Seth Godin, we publish here another installment in our WWSS (What Would Seth Say about …) series by Andrea Kihlstedt, Cofounder of Asking Matters.
The Theater of the Mind
Consider this no parking sign. Instead of stating the fine, the signmaker states the range of the fine. At this point, it’s up to the observer to have a conversation with himself. “Well, maybe I’ll just get a $50 fine. Hmmm, why would that happen? With my luck, it’ll be the maximum… I’ll just park somewhere else.”
It’s not an announcement, it’s an invitation to a little internal drama.
Too often, we don’t give people a chance to fill in the blanks.
Now apply this to what happens if instead of asking a donor for $500, we ask her to consider a gift of between $500 and $1,500.
We kick off a little bit of theater in her mind that might sound like this.
“I gave $500 last year and it would be easy to do that again.
“But then again, this organization’s doing such good work and Joan took the time to come and meet with me….
“Maybe this year I should up my gift to $1,000….
“But what about the trip I’m planning with my daughter Carla… That’ll cost a pretty penny…
“But really, how can I turn Joan down when she told me that she upped her personal gift. She’s probably got less than I do…
“I guess I’ll both up my gift and take the trip with Carla…
“I just won’t tell Richard…”
Presenting a dollar range, as Seth says, is an invitation to a little internal drama.
Take a look at Seth’s original post and sign up for his blog.
Did you like what Seth says about the theater of the mind? See what he might say about Why You Aren’t Asking.