​Lessons from the World of Politics

It might be hard to imagine what kinds of lessons the nonprofit world could learn from the political one. Yet, Tarsha Whitaker Calloway from NonProfit Pro identified six specific connections to consider.

Some of the most important lessons are related to flipping perspective on its head.

Nonprofit fundraisers often focus on telling the positive aspects of their work. Yet political staffers know that people often make decisions based as much on how much they dislike something rather than by how much they like something. People are swayed by attacks, even if they don’t want to be. What should fundraisers do about that? Think about a way to flip the story to focus on fighting a common enemy (such as homelessness, hunger, etc.)

Establishing solid deadlines is something that political campaigns do very well. Even in advance of election day, there are a series of fundraising deadlines that campaigns leverage to inspire contributors to their side. Nonprofits could benefit by following a similar method of target setting.

Like political campaigns, nonprofits should also consider the value of the sound bite. There is much to be gained by distilling a complicated message or mission into four or five memorable words.

You can read more about this topic in “ Make It Personal: 6 Fundraising Lessons From the Election Cycle” at NonProfit Pro.