Nov. 5: where they awkwardly try this out and John and Jen have a fight. Posted byBeate November 5, 2019December 17, 2019 Leave a comment on Nov. 5: where they awkwardly try this out and John and Jen have a fight. Beate Alright, everyone’s here, let’s awkwardly get the conversation topic started! How was California and Storytelling Conference? John this isnt awkward at all california is awesome. suits me just fine. sunshine, rose, palm trees, beach… Jen California was sunny and breezy and glorious And the storytelling conference was awesome. Such a great community/family feel there Beate Were there really a thousand people there? John yah they had over 1,000 people. great crowd of enthusiastic learners! gone form 250 to over 1000 in – what? 5 years? Simon Any surfing? John only on the web Jen Surfing? No, but lots of boats and planes (air force town) what’s happening in oslo and dublin? Beate Mittens and hats mostly John im really not ready for winter. Beate okay so you had fun but did you actually learn anything new? Jen One amazing thing about this conference was the dedication to donor care AND self care John i learned that comic sans could be the new courier Beate Crap ? Jen the workshops were all about tactics and practical stuff you can use right now but the plenaries were all about caring for you as a person: imposter syndrome, writing your own manifesto, vulnerability (particularly keen on that one) Beate what kind of tactics? Jen Tammy Zonker did a session about “what is the story your calendar is telling you” about how we plan our time… Beate I feel like in the last ten years you haven’t been able to go to a conference without bumping into storytelling left and right. What’s left now that we’re kind of done with the buzz? Jen Ugh. I get a version of this question a lot. “Aren’t we “post storytelling”? I do think some people feel that way… And until I see charities really telling stories well, that donors see themselves in, I’ll keep banging this drum John there is certainly more to our work than just storytelling. i agree beate. just like there is more to our work than an obsession with digital… Beate Well tell me what the core is, what are people doing wrong – what aren’t they doing – and what should they do to tell their stories right? John agree with Jen. it’s like #donorlove… people ask if we are past that now… um…. NO Jen Part of it is structural. We say “time to do the year end appeal” let’s look at last year’s, “swap in a new story” and make it 5% cheaper and increase the target by 10% Instead of saying “what’s the right story, right now, and who is the right voice for that story” John or – this is why we need THIS donor right now… this is what we need them to do… this is why they might care… all of this is hard work that goes against the grain of our check box-y society Beate And since Direct Mail is dead, that should happen only on digital platforms, right? John rrrriiigggghhhhhhtttttt Beate haha Jen it all won’t matter when AI controls us and we pay in cryptocurrency Beate oh god Simon Its just always looking for something new because we get bored. But our donors dont get bored if its good. Jen i say that all the time, quoting you, simon. no one complains about good fundraising, it works. donors complain about crap fundraising. Beate yeah, it’s like how we throw out perfectly good stories because we’re sick of them. But most of our donors did NOT see that facebookpost you put out three months ago ? John as i was talking about in San Diego… a good offer is potentially more important than a good story… everyone is running around looking for great stories but Beate What do you mean by “a good offer”? John not sure what the story needs to do to make it a GOOD story like – simplisitically… you $1 today will buy 3 meals for a family that needs it $100 will send a kid to camp this summer donor sized problems and fixes Jen (an offer that is made 1000000x better with a story) — john and I throw down on this issue i agree with donor sized problems and solutions — but a good offer sits too close to “an elevator pitch” to me and makes me feel yucky inside John it’s not really a throw down. i’m trying to keep people focused on what makes for great and effective direct response. Beate hahahaha ? Jen disagree Beate shots fired Jen Jen Love: see? throwdown Beate Didn’t mean to start a fight? John it’s not a pitch. I’m giving the donor what they need to help. Jen done right, it’s perfect. in the wrong hands, it’s “orgsplaining” John most orgs have zero idea what a good offer is or how to express it… Beate Moving on: Was there any talk at storytelling about how the way we communicate with our supporters might be changing? Simon Do they talk about different mediums? Or is it just people raving about stories for 2 days? Im jealous because i wasnt there Jen Like we hear around the world, multi channel, integration…sharing stories in different places and voices Beate Simon and I not being at storytelling John yah – our pal Reuban talked about orgs can use video i talked about direct mail and some digital Jen and there are more sessions on events too than at other conferences so people are understanding “live storytelling” in ways that I don’t experience at other conferences Simon Storytelling at events? Jen Yep. A couple of sessions dedicated ENTIRELY to event storytelling Simon What does that look like? Who is the M Night Shyamalan of nonprofit stories? Jen Our gal Shanon Doolittle is the expert on this, and her approach is to make sure that at every event there are natural, authentic stories being told and how that experience carries through the event follow-up, stewardship and future solicitation. Beate what does that mean? What’s an example of that well done? Jen Mark Rovner always surprises me when I hear what he’s going to say and then how he actually creates the session experience…which I guess is kinda M Night Mark was the one a few years ago who did a whole session on “the backstory” The day after the US election when Trump won, he asked us all to write a backstory in a paragraph or less that explained The Donald. so is this working? is this what we wanted from this experiment? John lol Jen i feel like me and john blabbed and fought so i guess, that’s on brand Beate Feel like we’re still warming up a bit ? Simon I think we are finding our feet but im finding you guys interesting Beate haha Okay but seriously before we all pack up – mediums – is anything changing in the way we connect with our audiences? Is everyone starting a podcast now? John God. Jen Definitely not starting a podcast Simon Podcasts are peaking John me neither. people hardly know how to use the channels they SHOULD be using to talk to their audiences… i guess it’s easier to give up and go do something else? Jen I wish we could shift the overall conversation from channel to authenticity i don’t give a fuck what channel you are using but try to be real, open and authentic and you’ll raise money and be a happier fundraiser Simon As a podcaster I can confirm they are dumb. But also they really suit me and others sometimes depending on what we are doing. I like listening to them in planes But i never listen to them at home Beate Are they though? My parents aren’t listening to podcasts yet, I’d say it’s about time for the late adopters which frankly are most of our donors not that i’m advocating you should shift your fundraising budget into podcasting Simon Totes Jen. Medium is not the motivator I mean peaking for people doing them Its like everyone is starting one. But novelty will wear off But audience will grow for remaining consistent podcasts Jen Your podcast is authentic and lovely. More like that please Simon Authentic = unprofessional and unedited And thank you ❤️ Beate podcasting and digital is the future. I think that’s a good wrap-up! Simon …. John authentic = i’m showing up to be seen and i want people to see me. that is fundamentally out of line with how most people are online and offline Simon Whats next after digital? Beate My guess: No-one wants to give you their data. John offline Simon Whats next after offline? Jen authentic = i’m showing up to be seen and i want people to see me. that is fundamentally out of line with how most people are online and offline Jen AI Simon Or any kind of intelligence Jen YES! oh goddess yes what’s next is intelligence Beate LOBSTER FACT: Apparantly they pee out of their faces. Simon Like Jen Jen Every time! No matter the lobster fact Beate that is neither kind nor intelligent Jen Title of your sex tape? Beate hahahaha? 100 % Okay, anyone have any closing remarks or funnies before we call it a night / day? Simon I love you all Jen I’m here for all this Beate ❤️ John i need a sandwich Beate bye. Did this chat make you laugh? Or think? Find us annoying? You should totally share that with your friends.