home heart shutterstock_138758504The Bridge Conference starts this week. Undoubtedly, you’ll hear lots of wonderful, thought-provoking ideas. You’ll hear many theories about where the world is going and what you need to do to thrive. You’ll be exposed to countless new technologies, all promising transformational results. But how will you make sense of it all?

I have always found that it’s the simple ideas, the ones that are grounded in unshakable human truths, which are the most valuable.

So today, after twenty-five years as a CEO/C-level executive working with great talent at wonderful organizations, I want to share one simple thought that could help serve as your North Star and drive your nonprofit’s fundraising success for years to come.

The thought is this…

Home is where the heart is. 

Okay, you’ve heard “Home is where the heart is” many times before. Why do I want this idea to be imprinted on your brain? Why should this old saying rise above countless other notions and be central to your decisioning about new techniques, technology, and the actions you need to take to make a step-change in your fundraising results and enhance donor engagement?

First, the simple truth is that the closer someone is to suffering or goodness, the greater the chance that person will support causes that combat these ills, or support their goodness.

To state the obvious, if you or a loved one suffers from a disease — if you’re deeply immersed in this painful experience — you’re more likely to support nonprofits that are fighting that disease. If you’re a veteran, you’re more likely to support veterans’ causes. If you attended a university, it increases the chances you will support that institution. Again, none of this is surprising, but this undeniable truth is essential to understand — because approaches that bring the right people, at the right times, closer to the suffering and solutions prove incredibly effective for fundraising, time and again. 

This core idea, home is where the heart is, has enabled us to transform our organization — and in doing so, help hundreds of fabulous NPOs around the world.

Home is where the heart is drove our decision to invest aggressively in digital print technology years ago, which enables us to tell personally-relevant stories at scale, and has proven to consistently lift fundraising response for our nonprofit partners.

Home is where the heart is told us to build a highly sophisticated data analytics capability and a cutting-edge integrated CRM/software platform, which enables us to communicate the right message, to the right people, at the right cadence, based on insights into specific donor preferences.

Home is where the heart is drove us to address the retention crisis. One solution we developed was an efficient, personalized 24-hour thank you service, which builds real donor engagement, and helps makes donors feel like part of the family.

Home is where the heart is encouraged us to partner with Fundly and bring a best-in-class crowdfunding solution to our clients.

Recently, home is where the heart is compelled us to invent TextTech, which uses mobile engagement to enable donors to customize premiums to their liking, quickly and efficiently.

Home is where the heart is motivated us to develop personalized videos for donors that drive significant social sharing and deliver up to 3X better performance.

Home is where the heart is even informs us which visuals and words will create the most informative, motivating stories for donors — and best pull at their heartstrings.

These are just a few of the important investments and decisions we have made more easily over the past few years because we had our North Star.  Now I hope our North Star can guide you, too, and help your nonprofit build deep, long-lasting donor relationships.

Enjoy the Bridge Conference. But when you get home, remember this one simple idea: home is where the heart is. 

Don McKenzie is President & Chief Growth Officer of Innovairre Communications, which supports more than 500 nonprofit organizations around the world. Contact us at Answers@Innovairre.com; subscribe to our newsletter here; and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.