Editor’s Note: Thanks a Lot, Roger
There I was, my usual nose-to-the-grindstone self, hunkered down in my office, doggedly reading through editorial copy for the November issue of FS … when what should pop into my inbox but the latest edition of The Agitator, Roger Craver and Tom Belford’s educational, engaging and often rabble-rousing blog about all things fundraising.
The latest entry was titled “Someone we know has been nominated for President.” I didn’t actually read the whole post, blinded as I was by the fleeting yet overwhelming hope that America finally had come up with a viable third-party candidate. And even better, it was someone I knew! As my West Virginia-born mom used to say, “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!” I clicked on the link, and a video started to play.
[Warning: Spoiler alert!] Of course, it was a joke. (At least I don’t think Tom Belford is actually running for the presidency.) But it was a damn clever joke. A joke that kept me busy personalizing and forwarding the video for a long enough period of time that I don’t dare disclose it here, since it did fall in the middle of a work day, and since, unlike my usually spot-on sense of cynicism, I hadn’t taken the day off.
In his post, Roger writes, “I can guarantee you that tens of thousands … of folks are shooting this off to friends and family even as I write this.” I believe it. I posted it as a MySpace bulletin, and within minutes, five of my friends (all of whom apparently are as distractible as I am) had posted it as well.
Once I ran out of friends to toss into the political fray, I thought, “Man, now that’s viral!” It’s clever, easy to tweak and send, and just plain fun. Imagine if the people who created it were using their powers for something important instead of, well, frankly, nothing. (I guess it might have been an über-subtle nod to John Q. Public’s increasing disenchantment with the usual political suspects, but I don’t think so.)
Viral messaging is definitely doable. And if you’re not doing it, you probably should be. Never underestimate the power of the people to help you spread your message — as long as you make it worth their while by giving them a giggle, or the opportunity to pull one over on a friend (or 30), or just a little break from the drudgery of their day.
Oh, and yeah, thank you, Roger, for the deadlines I’ve missed since I got your post. My boss thanks you, too.
Do you know a fundraising star?
I bet you do. If I’m right, take a moment to nominate him or her for our fourth annual Fundraising Professionals of the Year Awards. It’s an easy e-mail nomination, and the deadline is Dec. 22. You can get more details on Pages 12 and 29. Submit your nomination to mbattistelli@ napco.com. As always, I look forward to hearing from you!