On My Birthday: Two Lessons and a Request - Bark Communications

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  • Sep14Wed

    On My Birthday: Two Lessons and a Request

    September 14, 2011

    Posted by Andrew VanderPloeg

    Today is my 35th birthday, and I've got two lessons and a request that I want to share regarding recent interactions with one of my favourite non-profits, charity: water. Read on and you'll learn about how my birthday ties in...

    First off, last week, I received a personal phone call from someone named Hamish at charity: water. He called to thank me for using my birthday last year to help them raise funds during their annual September campaign and he also conveyed a Happy Birthday to me on behalf of the entire team there.
    Lesson 1: No matter how many people have donated to you or done business with you, and despite all the reasons that you can think up for why a personal touch is unreasonable, you CAN do it and IT WILL be one of the most powerful things you do. As a small example, quite frankly, I was waffling about whether I wanted to run another campaign this year. But after the phone call, I decided to just get it done and it ended up taking me 15 minutes to set up - yet another key method to ensure people keep on keeping on with your organization - simplicity.

    Second, after setting up a campaign, charity: water encourages you to set an example and be the first person to donate, so I did. Within 3 minutes of making my donation, I had a tax receipt in my inbox. Brilliant.
    Lesson 2: Think like a customer. You might even find yourself implementing strategies that will provide customers things that they didn't even know they wanted. Never in a million years would I have thought to ask the organizations I donate to for a tax receipt immediately. But wow, when I got it, it completely caught me off guard and entirely ingratiated me to their organization - again.

    As my third and final point, I wanted ask a favor.

    I learned a lot through these interactions with charity: water, but the bigger picture is that although I love their marketing, I love their purpose and work even more: getting clean water to people who don't have it - something they have already done for more than 2 million people. So would you consider joining me by donating to my campaign? I'm asking for people to donate $35 for my 35th birthday. If you can't part with that much, you can give what you're able to. 100% of your donation will go directly to the work of getting people clean, running water and accountability is a big deal for this organization - all the way down to GPS units on the trucks that they use to show your dollars literally at work in Africa. We'll make real change in lives together.

    If you're willing and able, you can contribute here:  http://www.mycharitywater.org/andrews35th