Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Best Church Youth Group Fundraiser Ever

Get Flocked
My twin sister Nichole leads student ministries at the church we attend. Each summer, she leads a group of high school students on a mission trip. To raise money for the trip each year, she implements the greatest fundraising idea ever:

Every night during the month of May, our church's group of high school students drives to someone's house (it's usually a church member's) and plant 20 pink, plastic flamingos in their yard. This is called "getting flocked." In order to have the flamingos removed the next day, the owner of the house must donate at least $20 to the youth group. That's pretty awesome by itself, but there are fantastically fun twists:
  • Church members can purchase flamingo insurance for $10 to prevent their house from being flocked.
  • Church members can pay $10 to request the flocking of an uninsured house.
  • An uninsured house can be flocked more than once during the month.
There's something for everyone in this fundraiser: some people love being flocked and look forward to the surprise of waking up to a yard full of flamingos every year. My two-year-old son loves seeing the flamingos in our yard (see the picture of he and my sister on the right, taken in my front yard after a flocking). I've been flocked twice this year and both times have been quite fun because of my son's reaction.

On the other hand, people who really don't want flamingos in their yard can make a small donation to the youth group and avoid being flocked. Further, the flamingos in a yard spark conversations among neighbors who ask why they're there, giving church members an opportunity to talk about their youth group's great service trip.

Do things ever go wrong? Of course. Each year, the high schoolers accidentally flock the wrong house at least once, but it's almost always resolved peacefully. One time, the wrong recipient of a flocking kept the flamingos hostage for a few days because he was so upset, but my sister was eventually able to talk him into giving them back ("hey, it's for the kids!").

Add This To Your To-Do List
The flamingo fundraiser generates tons of donations for our youth group and the whole church gets into it every year. People post pictures of their flocked house to our church's Facebook page and it gives people something to laugh about before and after church. If you're trying to raise donations for a group at your organization, consider buying a flock of flamingos and setting them free. It will lift spirits, get people talking, and generate a lot of money for your group.

There's never a lack of ideas.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My TEDx Talk: Hey Marketers, Get Your Priorities Straight

18 Minutes of Fame
On April 12, 2013, I fulfilled a longtime goal: I gave a TEDx talk. I was honored to be one of six speakers at TEDx UofI Chicago. Everyone at the event was a pleasure to work with.

It would be very difficult to add up all of the hours that went into preparing for my short, 18-minute talk. I think I practiced it enough to remember large parts of it for the rest of my life. I tried to bring my passion for the subject to the stage along with a little humor and a little know-how. There's always room for improvement, but I think I did pretty well. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I must admit that I had so much fun doing the talk that I just may have to try and do another one someday. I guess we'll have to see if I have any more ideas worth spreading in the future.

Add This To Your To-Do List
Enjoy my talk! And let me know what you thought of it.

There's never a lack of ideas.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Show Your Support for the #MarketingPriorities Movement with This Free Button

Sharing is Caring
To thank those of you who have taken time to read my new book and share it with a friend, I'd like to send you a nifty button I've created. Check it out there on the right, worn by one of the people to whom I dedicated the book.

I'll send you a free button if you do all of the following:
  1. Read my book. (Remember, there's a completely free pdf available.)
  2. Share my book with someone. I would love if you'd write a review of it, but you can also simply tell a friend about it or share it via social media. (If you share it on social media, please include #marketingpriorities.)
  3. Let me know that you did the first two things and where I should send the button. Then, sport it on your clothes or bag everywhere you go. If you take a picture of yourself wearing it and send it to me, I'll upload it to a little photo gallery for everyone to see.
I'm trying to start a movement in which organizations no longer invest time and money into marketing communication tactics that won't work. Thank you for your support!

There's never a lack of ideas.