Unstoppable Momentum


We all know that great fundraising requires momentum, and we're always trying to figure out how to use psychological and sociological triggers to initiate an avalanche of giving.

At The Gala Team, we've gotten good and pulling those triggers in our live, in-person events (see our Step-by-Step Guide to Conducting a Record-Breaking Paddle Raiser), and we're continually adding to our knowledge about how to pull those triggers during virtual galas. (see our Comprehensive Step-by-Step Guide to Conducting a Virtual Gala).

But I saw a video the other day that just made me smile, because it was a perfect illustration of the power and influence that one super-committed person can have on an entire audience.

I invite you to spend 3 minutes of your day watching this amazing video. It starts off quirky, then gets funny, then turns amazing.

Studying videos like this can give us insights into human behavior as we develop our fundraising plans.

To create an avalanche of giving, we have to leverage our big donors to create the type of role modeling, leadership and positive peer pressure that we see in this video.

Here are Five Steps of the Avalanche that appear in this video, and they exactly demonstrate the steps that exist in a great fundraiser.

1. AUTHENTICITY - The guy who starts dancing is extremely authentic. He's jamming by himself, and he doesn't need anyone to join him, and he doesn't care who is looking at him. He's just doing what he feels is right.

2. SPONTANEOUS AGREEMENT - The second guy who joins in (and maybe the third, fourth and fifth) could have been plants -- like a flash mob. But it comes across as super spontaneous. Just a genuine reaction to the moment.

3. THE COMMITTED FEW - You can't attract the masses without first attracting the committed few. As soon as the group expanded to 7 to 10 people,, it hit critical mass and started to take off.

4. THE HOT THING - Everyone nearby saw this group as "The Hot Thing" and they wanted to be a part of it, so they rushed to get in.

5. FOMO - Finally, the laggards who are farther away and/or slower to act, develop a severe case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), and they're literally sprinting and jumping over people to join the party before the song ends.

When you think about the best paddle raisers you've ever seen, they all look just like this video.

The secret is to try to plan your event timeline, your emotional timeline and your fundraising timeline in such a way that you get the perfect ingredients in the pot at the right time to trigger this type of reaction.  

Here's another link to the video.