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Happiness

 

Happiness, I believe really is the greatest gift to mankind. It’s also one of our most powerful best kept secrets in terms of personal development, growth and influence, because it’s not contemplated enough by the majority of people so it’s great power, sadly eludes so many.

 

We are busy, entrenched by the daily tasks, routines and other aspects of modern living, the need to earn money, adhere to our hectic lifestyles, and other aspects of our lives, that we simply forget to consider what makes us happy as individuals.

 

Feelings of happiness are positively contagious, both at home and in our workplaces; those of us who consciously develop our happiness make popular friends and colleagues – we want to be around happy people because our subconscious minds, (it’s our subconscious minds, which predominately, we don’t vocalise, yet where most of our decisions and feelings come from) that draw us to happy people.   

 

Ken Dodd rightly distinguishes wealth from happiness in his simple song with great meaning; Madonna correctly informs us that happiness “is in your own hands” and I truly believe that if we developed our own agenda of what makes us personally happy, that the World would be an easier place to live in.

 

I’m blessed with happiness; it’s a journey of self discovery, truth growth and wisdom. I have many reasons to be unhappy yet I’m also blessed with resilience and stamina. I like myself, I like the fact that I’m truthful about myself and to others; truth, I believe to be an integral key to keeping happy. Interestingly, throughout my life so far, I observe that people like my company and I can positively influence all the people whom I meet.

 

I’m hard working too, I have recently achieved a second publishing contract as a Children’s Author – I know that my calling is to communicate through the written word and that my calling is predominantly to help young people.

 

What can you do to achieve a higher sense of self happiness? How can you convey happiness to your audience in your business advertising and marketing messages or to your donators if you are a charity?

 

Capturing the essence of your key messages and keeping them simple, thus easy to assimilate, jot down the things which have made your beneficiaries happy, if you are a charity, or customers if you run a business. They could include wonderful photographs – a picture tells a thousand words, or heartfelt stories and testimonials.

 

Apply these positive emotive happy messages to your campaigns, measure the positive impact, and then repeat the same principles to your own personal life and notice the contagious positive vibe ripple throughout your workplace.    

 

 

Tips to help convey to the public your Charities key message

 

 

Unless you are a large charity, it’s unlikely that you can afford to hire an advertising agency to assist you conveying your charitable message. The general public are exposed to hundreds, if not thousands of advertising messages a day. Television adverts, posters on the side of buses or in bus shelters, right down to pop up display adverts in supermarkets etc.

 

So what can you do to make your “advertising” message grab your potential donators’ attention? Here are some useful tips:

 

 

  1. Before you spend any money, have a brain storming session to bring to light what your priority messages are that you wish to convey. Think of some words which can be summarised into a one line statement or “strapline”. Example:  The NHS blood and transplant service always need new donators so they have devised a feel good factor enticing new donators to wish to give blood - their strapline is “Do something amazing” and this speaks to the subconscious mind as people like to achieve.
  2.  Speaking to the subconscious mind is very powerful so think of similar ways which you can convey a strong strapline – this forms the foundation of your integral message and it’s really worth enlisting all your key staff’s opinions on how they would summarise what your key message is.
  3. If you are time deficient then a short cut to gathering the opinions of your co-workers could be as simple as sending out an email asking them to consider what they believe to be your key message. When you send this request out, give them a date when by they need to send their suggestions to you by.
  4. Additionally, and depending on the size of your charity, you could post this internal request on your intranet so that all your site members are involved.
  5. You will know when you are happy with the strapline because it will jump out at you and likely the most popular one will be powerful because it will make you “feel”.
  6. Following the principle of keeping things simple, because of the mass exposure to advertising that we are all use to, next you need to use pictures of people, your reciprocates, because a picture tells a thousand words.
  7. By using photography you are reducing the need to use hefty blocks of text and so your message can be quickly assimilated.
  8.  Where possible use pictures of people, and always see the cost of hiring a professional photographer as an investment. Think for a moment of some of the advertising campaigns you like, those which still remain in your mind, are likely to do so because the photographs made you feel. They will have made prospective donators feel too thus the value of professional photography speaks volumes.
  9. On the premise that you do not wish to keep re-inventing the wheel and that you may have several key messages which you want to convey, then you can build a series of both straplines and photographic images which can be released throughout the year; posters or to keep your website up to date.
  10. Plan the next twelve months ahead and match suitable photographic images to the campaigns you have in mind, together with your messages which will make your future donators feel your worthy cause.       

 

Asking for referrals – an inexpensive marketing project

 

Word of mouth endorsements or referrals are known to be one of the most effective forms of marketing. They are a relatively low cost of sale and a great way to attract more donators and supporters and there are many ways in which you can ask for them.

Additionally, if you are new at fundraising then try tasking yourself with the below idea. You will feel a real sense of “good feel good factor” because  as well as growing your funding, the point about a referral call or marketing letter is that the reciprocate already has some knowledge about your organisation.

Here’s how to get started.

 

1: Study your corporate donators’ database and start with easy to manage quantities. Let’s say in units of ten. Refresh your knowledge of each corporate donator to keep your referral personal as it will have greater impact. 

2: One by one, telephone your corporate donator, (and while you are on the phone be sure to verify that you hold all their current contact details)

3: Give your corporate donator your latest news, the positives first such as “with your donations last year we were able to provide much needed smallpox vaccination to three hundred Malawi children.

4: Then you give the reality check as “Sadly there are thousands of children still urgently requiring the vaccination and at less than 50p per child to inoculate, I’m sure you can appreciate that this is very much still an urgent matter.”

5: At this point into your conversation, you could be enjoying a two way conversation and so it’s important to control the call. Your corporate donator, may even interrupt by asking for instance for you to send him / her emailed update. (Because everyone is so time deficient today).

6: Now bring the conversation back under your control, thanking them for their continued support and ask them could they refer your charity to ten of their suppliers. That you are not expecting all their suppliers to instantly wish to donate but your corporate donator could entice them to by:

  • Promoting you, their chosen charity on their website, a banner exchange or affiliation programme ( your logo and copy saying click here to support )
  • Mentioning your recent news in their newsletters, corporate Facebook, even liking your latest project or tweeting about you
  • Having your collection pots on their reception areas
  • Ticketing their Christmas do with a percentage going to your charity
  • Purchasing Christmas cards and gifts for their suppliers from you

Note:  You can ask for referrals via email marketing letter which ought to be sent out to all your corporate donators too. However making personal contact on the telephone can be an effective way to entice your current donator to actually take action.

 

Keep your charity messages simple when asking for donations

 

With so many charities in the UK alone; conveying the important work which your charity does, can take much time in simplifying the message. The need to simplify the message is essential for many reasons, and if you have a poster campaign or you are planning media “brand awareness”, to drum up much needed funding, you are essentially putting together an advertising strategy.

 

Well known advertising agencies are renowned to be very expensive to hire, they can literally cost millions of pounds, and when you start considering all the elements which need addressing with for example a new brand of chocolate then it’s easy to see where the costs start totting up: new packaging, filming, celebrity endorsements etc.

 

You are unlikely to be in the position to justify such large outlay; frankly even the largest brands are making advertising cut backs, many opting for social media brand enhancing, something you should consider too. However rather than getting bogged down in the many peripherals of what tasks need to be executed in an advertising campaign, or getting upset that it all seems to cost more than you can justify, focus on the fundamental purpose of what a successful advertising campaign does and more especially what is the purpose of implementing one in the first place.

 

So many companies get bogged with every miniscule detail; so many directors spend months planning and much time is spent deliberating on cost cutting or even adding further suggestions to such a campaign. I see examples of this all the time. “We’re re-branding our core product and redesigning our website for our new product”.

 

The trouble is, and more common in times of economic restraint, that a lot of time is wasted because Directors and Department heads know that every penny they spend faces more justification than ever before. This creates anxieties, it also creates much indecisiveness.

 

What follows next is loss of focus and the oversight that any advertising campaign should prioritise rather than getting lost in the detail. The two most important elements are: Appealing to your market audience and keeping the message simple.

 

With your charity, your market audience will be your donators and supporters. You will need to identify who they are, what social demographic do the bulk of them belong to and how to appeal to higher audience figures.

 

Keeping your message simple is the other most vital element. Think how many adverts we are subjected to daily, television, posters in bus stops etc. The key is to keep your message simple.

 

How to do this is write down what your charity does, who it helps and what do you want.

Then keep reducing the copy down to its lowest possible dominator so that you are left with a punchy easy to understand message.

 

Finally, as you are reducing your copy do not forget to remember the single most important element to your advertising campaign, this being the giving message. How can you convey in the simplest form, the fewest words, ( pictures are great as they speak a thousand words) to the general public that you really want them to pick up the phone and donate much needed monies as opposed to simply thinking, “Oh gosh poor little girl having to walk five miles for fresh water”. Such a waste as you have made them feel but not made it dawn on them that they need to get their debit card out!

 

Tips on managing an event or fundraising festival

Having recently attended The Deans Festival as a guest speaker, this long running subsidiary of The Brighton Fringe Festival, really caught my eye with the attention the organisers’ paid to details.

Such “detail in the planning” must help to attribute to the monies raised this year for beneficiaries Downsview School for Children with special needs. 

Since one of the organisers is my friend Claire O’Brien, who kindly invited me to read my new book, I was able to be for much of the time, “behind the scenes”.

I found my observations extremely interesting and without a single exception, every single volunteer, and there were a lot of them, worked together, like clockwork.

The atmosphere due to months of careful planning was fun and vibrant; the event was packed and well deservedly so for such outstanding team work. It actually felt like they had all made a pact to insure for a successful day.

Here are ten things which I noticed on the day and hope that they are transferable for your next event.

1: http://www.deansfestival.org/ - they have a dedicated website just for this annual event.  Although this may not be realistic for your charity yet, it’s worth knowing that The Deans Festival is a joint event of all the “Deans Schools” – who could your charities, collaborate with, for a joint annual festival?

2: It’s so well publicised – Fortunately as part of The Brighton Fringe Festival, The Deans Festival leaflets the event during the popular Children’s Parade – if you do not have a similar tie in arrangement, then remember to build up a social networking one on Facebook.

3: Think of all attendees – Naturally the Deans Festival is for Children so whilst there were lots of fun things for the children to do, careful attention was paid on things for the parents to do too such as raffles and tombola’s with prizes for all ages AND a LIVE BAND which were awesome and a real atmosphere maker as were the array of X Factor style competitions

4: Think ahead of the layout. At The Deans Festival, the School hall was transformed into a roller disco and outside on the grass was a sectioned off “stage” – this was all on the flat – bit of roping and plastic sheeting on the grass made it look really colourful. A small gazebo for the stereo and judges made it look very affective. The stalls, cake stands and games were then carefully planned to around the “stage” for ease of walking around the whole of the festival.

5: The Official Bursar – One person was given this duty and at regular intervals, collected the monies from the stallholders and secured it safely in one place.

6: “Walkie Talkies” – A fantastic free and sensible way for the volunteers to communicate and I think an essential reason as to why everything ran so smoothly.

7: Colour coded – Because all the volunteers wore simple red T Shirts with their charity name on it, they were easy to spot and approach.

8: The Cake stand – Never think that the general public will tire of delicious homemade cakes; this stall, cleverly situated next to the Tombola and with a few plastic picnic tables dotted about was one of the most crowded stalls. We all love a nice cup of tea and delicious slice of chocolate cake!

9: The Play bus  - Young children love the freedom of drawing and painting on a special play bus – it’s a bit like a den and in so this too was very popular – speak to your local council for hiring one at your next event. I believe it’s free of charge.

10: A PA system – I personally think that this is more important than a stage, and clearly The Deans Festival didn’t need an expensive to rig up stage, just colourful sheeting on the ground but do sweet talk a prospective audio professional as a sound system sponsor. We humans like to be kept up to speed with the day’s agenda and you can advertise each hourly event too, ensuring for maximum participants! 

Well done everyone at The Deans Festival you did an amazing job!

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