08NTC: Day 3, The seven things everyone wants

What Freud and Buddha Understood (and We’re Forgetting) About Online Outreach
Katya Andreson (Network for Good) and Mark Rovner (Sea Change Strategies)

When was the last time you saw, heard or read something from a good cause (not your own!) that prompted you to donate or act?

Why did you do it? Why did you hear about it? What was the compelling message that caused you to act?

  • Green the 9th ward - friend involved in project and the story compelled her to give.
  • $$$ to Obama — registered for campaign, email asked for money and gave. Wanted to be involved in some way
  • $$$ to Obama — heard Barack speak in a way that she never heard any other politician speak to the public
  • JFK center — see the growth and the passion in the people involved. Impact.
  • Pet rescue - - was connected as volunteer, a specific ask
  • Helped a Friend running for Congress; encouraged friends to donate too.
  • Fund for daughter of friend’s brother who died
  • Give and help (SVP) — dress for success - “passion, satisfaction of bringing new skills”.
  • AIDS clinic in Malawi
  • Fire — impromptu fundraiser — reach a goal to HELP FRIEND

Common denominator - personal, specific and tangible, specific goal, compelling story, connection on an emotional level (how the action you took effects you on an emotional level and how it effects the people involved in the cause).

Need to remember how it’s like to be on the receiving end. People aren’t giving because of a very cool “tool”. That’s not what matters, it’s how the ask made you feel and what action is asked.

Why are we here?

Marketing is a lot different than it used to be. We’re at a crossroads. Traditional folks are nervous. A new “tabula rasa” - reinventing new marketing for a new era. Time to “write on the wall”. Traditional marketing no longer works.

Is there a new approach to marketing and communications that might be more suitable for the times. Time to pull back from the technology and determine what we’re doing here. We’ve seen that marketing fear works (Bush), but what we’re seeing is the inevitable response from that. If that’s the dark side of the forest, we’re looking to articulate the lighter side.

Identifying deep human needs beyond Maslow’s hierarchy. This is just the beginning of the conversation. Seven human needs to start us off.

The tools that work well, work well because they have caught the right audience. the tools that don’t work, don’t connect with the audience. What is our audience and what do they really want? And how can we use these to motivate people?

  1. To be SEEN and HEARD
  2. To be CONNECTED to someone or something
  3. To be part of something GREATER THAN THEMSELVES
  4. To have HOPE for the future
  5. The security of TRUST
  6. To be of SERVICE
  7. To want HAPPINESS for self and others

1. To be SEEN and HEARD: Fundamental human needs. (web 2.0 is people wanting to be seen, heard and connected to each other). This is why Facebook has had such success. You can use technology to acknowledge these desires and LISTEN to this.

Not listening to each other is the root of all our problems. Creates problems in our relationships and customer service. And creates problems in how we go about online outreach.

Example: Teen Health Talk.org

Teenage girls spend their time talking and connecting. Site makes their audience feel heard.

Does your homepage make your audience feel heard? People don’t want to read your mission statement.

  • March for women’s lives - post a message to be their virtually
  • JDRF - kids’ site - pen pals
  • Oxfam - photo petitions through Flickr: holding a message of the campaign. Staff video on Darfur.
  • Meg - health care reform outreach to workers doing enrollments; created blog where people can comment; talking to each other and policymakers listening
  • EDF new patriotism

Real listening means giving up control of the final words
This is key and you need to actually ‘listen’

To persuade, shut up. listen to be heard. see to be seen.

2. To be CONNECTED to someone or something

Reacting to what you hear and connecting to that. Authenticity is key piece to true connection. It matters the topics that we connect around.


  • Beliefnet and prayer circles. Story about child with Leukemia. People sharing their prayers from every imaginable religion. Amazing example of giving people an ability to see and a way to connect.
  • March of Dimes - mothers with kids that have been in the NICU - have an opportunity to share their stories. Opportunity to connect.

Your Stories - both true connections and fake connections (everyone is talking about sharing stories now, the story needs to be true, authentic, and compelling:


  • Wal-Mart
  • Target


  • Care page for someone who died
  • NRDC - faces of a movement
  • Cause page - Ocean Conservancy. Allow members to push what they want to talk about.

Commercial Facebook pages have failed drastically. Fauxthentic doesn’t play. The nice thing about this new paradigm because it gets outed. And people don’t build experiences around the brand anymore, they build experiences around REAL.

The messenger - and their authenticity - is key to success in connecting. Authenticity can come from any source - it just has to be done right.

Engage people by connecting to what they (not you!) care about.

3. To be part of something GREATER THAN THEMSELVES

Example: Moveon.org and BarackObama.org,

18seconds.org - call to action - change a bulb, change everything. You can see the larger vision. How what you’re doing is part of a greater hole, and when you do that, a nice thing happens with the momentum and the bigger vision - human consensus theory.

You’re not alone in the fox hole. Need to be part of something bigger. Communicate the Vision. Even widgets look better at 30,000 feet.

4. To have HOPE for the future

We pay huge lip service to hope for the future. Sometimes we fall away from the recognition that hope is more powerful than doom and gloom.

Bad Example: Ad Council Don’t Almost Give Campaign

3600 views on YouTube - paid thousands and thousands of money for this and response is all negative.

Good Example: Earth: The Sequel (EDF)

People are ready for a different kind of message!

Your Stories

  • NOLA AIDS Task Force - actions embody a different kind of future
  • Doom and gloom didn’t work: smokers aversion. Close cousin of doom and gloom is finger wagging and it’s very ineffective
  • SPLC mi it up - sit at a different lunch table
  • Gautemala/Haiti - only org with a hopeful story about Haiti

Ix-nay on the apocalypse; focus on hope!

5. The Security of Trust

As we get more cynical of marketing, people are starved for a message of trust. Take a negative and turn it into a positive.

Be an authentic voice and leverage fans and work through their networks

70% of givers say they are most inspired by friends and family. Most do something because a close friend asked.

Example: www.ipch.org/kids/english/index.html. Looks like Club Penguin, prepares kids for what hospital stay is like. Kids in hospital talk about their experiences.

The Geography of Bliss - world DB of happiness and what unifies. Mutual trust is key!

Your stories

  • Todd - Leukemia. In 3 days registered 1,000 people for blood drive. Now youth ambassador.

Get Real! Authenticity is everything.

6. Be of Service

We all have a deep impulse to be of service.

Most people stop giving money to organizations because they were treated like an ATM. People want other ways to support your organization besides just donating money.

Bless me to usefulness!

7. To want happiness for self and others

Coalitions of organizations working for the same cause is more compelling.

The more you wish happiness for otherse, the better off we all are.

Example: Where in the hell is Matt?

Important to have a product that doesn’t suck. Charity Navigator now takes comments from donors. If it’s not happening already, soon donors will be sharing their experiences with charities much more intimately. Must be authentic and have your donor trust you in order to come out looking good.

If someone gives to an organization, they are likely to give to 7 other organizations too. Partnerships with groups of orgs are great to keep these donations in the “family”.

People want an opportunity to live out values and have their values reassured. Have your mission statement speak to this.

Humor is more than just snark, it’s ability to see the lightness.

People want to hear “yes”.

Change of mindset for humanity. Marking once feared and now there is a critical need for authenticity and need for hopeful future, shift to goodness and humanity.

Online networks are providing more opportunities for people to meet face-to-face and turn passion into action.

All good things begin with a quiet mind.

3 Responses to “08NTC: Day 3, The seven things everyone wants”

  1. 1 Katya

    Thanks for the fantastic summary!

  2. 2 Michaela

    My pleasure. Thank you for such an amazing presentation and I look forward to seeing where this all goes.

  3. 3 Mire

    Great article! I have also enjoyed the site and blog from http://www.nonprofitshoppingmall.com mostly because you get to raise money so easily just by shopping. The nonprofit I work for is on there so I shop via the site all the time but there are so many great groups on it that it inspires me to “shop” for other groups then just my own.

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