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BIG’s Blog: Familiarity has more value than Scarcity

It’s time to let the cat out of the bag.

Our online e-learning course, described by those who have taken it as “college-level curriculum,” is now only $99.

My goal has always been to “shift” the nonprofit fundraising model.

Notice I didn’t say “change” the fundraising model. That is because many elements of the existing fundraising model (such as planned giving, mid and major donor work) are extremely successful methodologies in the professional fundraiser’s toolbox of raising the revenue that successful nonprofit organizations need.

And for me, personally, it was never about making tons of money from this effort. Trust me, after a lifetime in the commercial world, I’ve found it is so much easier to make money in the for-profit realm. That’s not to say that the enterprise I have set up to facilitate this shift doesn’t need revenue, clearly we do, but my goal from day one has been to keep lowering the price. And why? Read on.

Even though my background is that of a direct mail marketer… over 30+ years… it became obvious several years ago that direct mail appeals (the workhorse of established nonprofit fundraising and the core methodology of acquiring new donors and generating significant annual dollars) was… in long term decline. Today, of course, there isn’t a Chief Development Officer who doesn’t know this.

But even today, the solution is not widely recognized.

The solution, of course, is Content Marketing.

But if you don’t know how Content Marketing works for fundraisers, then you are stuck.

That is why I wanted a low price that anyone could afford.

Content Marketing is an entirely new marketing discipline that is perfectly aligned with the digital online world and, just as importantly, with the attitudes of today’s donors… beginning with the baby boomers.

Online Content Marketing-based fundraising is the new fundraising model.

So why offer the course for only $99?

The simple answer is this: What Content Marketing is and how fundraisers implement it… needs to spread.

Every person who works in fundraising today, or supports nonprofit organizations, needs to understand how the Content Marketing-based fundraising model works. Quite simply, it will change the dynamics and direction of your current fundraising efforts.

So, why $99 for this e-learning online course with over 4 1/2 hours of content?

Actually, the idea came from the rock ’n’ roll band, the Grateful Dead.

Though not a “Deadhead” myself, I have a friend in Matt Alberti who actually is a Deadhead as well as being a student of marketing. Matt knows the lore of the Grateful Dead.

The Grateful Dead were a San Francisco band back in the 60s with a following in the Bay area. And though they did cut records and release them, when they toured, they did what no other band allowed: they let people at the concerts actually tape their music. Not only didn’t other bands do this, they strictly forbade people from taping their concerts and enforced it by having security take recorders of people tried to sneak into the concerts.

The Grateful Dead did exactly the opposite.

Not only did they allow people to tape their concerts, they encouraged them to make copies of their bootlegged recordings and share them with their friends. Their insight was that “familiarity had more value than scarcity.” More people heard of the Grateful Dead through the bootlegged tapes than ever bought a record. And until they finally disbanded, every single concert of the Grateful Dead was sold out. 

Familiarity has more value than Scarcity.

That is the world we live in today. In the traditional marketing world of scarce and expensive media, the bigger your advertising budget, the bigger the impact you could have. But there could only be so many big companies – or big nonprofit organizations. But in today’s abundant digital Internet world where the media is essentially free, anyone can be a publisher or broadcaster. And the number of companies and nonprofit organizations has exploded.

If you understand the concept I just described, then you understand why Content Marketing is, as the famous marketing author and blogger Seth Godin recently said; “Content Marketing is the only marketing we have left.” 

Your reaction should be to immediately sign up for our online course, “Acquiring the Next Generation of Supporters,” or forward this blog to someone in fundraising who is struggling and needs to know this information.

Drip, Drip, Drip.



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