I’m not sure what was more amusing Billy Blanks unitard and scrunchie socks or my lack of coordination.  Needless to say it was an entertaining hour that led to this blog post.

Last week I realized I hit an exercise plateau and in my case a plateau typically leads to setbacks, but not this time.  Instead I said to myself “how are you going to handle this plateau?”  What are you going to do differently this time around?

Here’s a little more back story.  I recently recommitted to my running routine with hopes of losing a few lbs as I get ready for my next half marathon. Sadly, after a few weeks the darn scale isn’t declining and on top of that my running shoes were worn out.  As I waited for my new running shoes to arrive, I decided I need to diversify my routine and keep working out. If I didn’t do this, then I would just stop working out altogether – I know my habits pretty well.

As I’ve said before fundraising and weight loss require a similar strategy.  You have to be consistent, disciplined and a work hard every day.  We don’t want to find ourselves going from one crash diet to the next. Let’s face it crash diets don’t work and only lead to bad behaviors.

To stay consistent and hit my work out goals for the week, I broke out my collection of workout DVD’s. As I debated between Insanity and Jillian Michaels, an oldie but goodie stood out: Tae-Bo.  Ergo the great debate: what’s more entertaining Billy Blanks unitard and scrunchie socks or my lack of coordination. It’s a tossup.

As I was laughing at Billy Blanks outfit and my coordination, I started thinking about old school fundraising tactics.  In honor of #ThrowbackThursdays what are some of your favorite old school fundraising tactics?  While we focus a lot of effort of email, social media and anything online we can’t forget to diversify our routine. Otherwise you’ll hit a plateau.

My favorite old school tactic is still the handwritten card (check out the link, it’s one of my favorite fundraising stories).  I rarely get mail that I want to open, but when I get a card it makes me smile.  It says to me that someone cared enough to take a few minutes and write me a note.

Here’s today’s homework.  How about you pull a report of your team captains or top fundraisers and send them a card?  Some of you may be in the middle of recruiting people for spring events; send a card to last year’s top team captains and show them you care.  If your event isn’t until the fall, just send a card to say thank you and thinking of you. It’s these human interactions that people remember.

It can be hard to measure the impact of cards, but we need to keep in mind that people sign up for events because they care. Websites, emails and tweets are important elements to any peer to peer fundraising program – but they are just that: elements. Connections are strengthened by human interactions. Check out this post by Jennifer Peters, she shared several ideas for strengthening online fundraising with offline activities.

Only time will tell whether changing up your tactics will work.  But, I do know one thing you can’t keep employing the same strategy, plan and tactics every year and expect different results.  To meet your ever increasing goals you have to mix up your routine.

So come on, make someone smile and brighten your supporters’ day with a card. Just like you and your fundraising programs only time will tell if my 1990’s Billy Blanks DVD will help move the scale in the right direction.  What I can say is my muscles are a little sore and that’s fine by me.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amy Braiterman, principal strategy consultant at Blackbaud, supports customers with their peer-to-peer fundraising events with a process she refers to as “data-driven strategy.” Amy’s data driven strategy analyzes how effective event participants are using online fundraising tools and takes those results to develop an event fundraising plan. Prior to joining Blackbaud, Amy earned her fundraising stripes managing events for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Alzheimer’s Association and Share Our Strength. She shares her fundraising know how here on npENGAGE, by hosting educational webinars and speaking at customer conferences

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