Friday, July 15, 2011

#trust30: Original Thought


Original Thought by Michael Brajkovich

“The arts and inventions of each period are only its costume, and do not invigorate men.”


Think of the last time that you thought, said, or did something that was original. What inspired or invigorated this? (Author: Michael Brajkovich)
My brain is constantly firing off new stuff.  Often new ideas are "sparked" by something I hear, see or read.  Whether it's in a meeting, or watching a TED Talk, or reading one of the many magazines I read.  The other day I read an article in Inc. magazine about a company that used an offer of a free month of Netflix as an incentive to get people to refer their friends.  I wondered if there was any way for the non-profit I work for to do something similar.  There's a fine line that must be danced upon - would we be seen as too commercial?  Would it look exploitative?  Could we find a company to give us free product to give to our donors?  If it were a monthly product being sold, would it "compete" with the monthly donation opportunity we were seeking, especially if push came to shove and they had to choose financially between continuing one or the other.  Or, I recently got an email from American Home Shield giving me free air filters for a year.  I noticed that in the clickthrough url it contained the phrase "retention" - it was no mistake that the offer appeared now just as my warranty was coming up for renewal.  If, in our non-profit, some donors consider their commitment only for a year (essentially, it's ongoing), would an unexpected gift just before the end of their year or giving make them think favorably and reduce the number of cancellations?  Maybe it's a bumper sticker or a t-shirt or a product donated by a company.  Something to take gives a little boost in that area of the brain reserved for unexpected presents and makes them less likely to cancel?  Both ideas, I thought, were interesting and slightly novel.  However, I felt like I had a hard time getting anyone interested in them.  
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