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Gleicher’s Formula for Change

How do you gauge whether or not your organization is ready for a major change? How should you prepare for it? David Gleicher claimed to have the secret sauce.

Gleicher’s Formula attempts to predict the success of organizational change using this equation:

(D x V x F) > R → ∆

  • D = Dissatisfaction with status quo
  • V = Vision of what is possible
  • F = First steps toward the vision
  • R = Resistance to the change
  • = Change (delta)

Gleicher's Formula For Change

Gleicher basically said that the driving forces have to be greater than the restraining forces. If they aren’t, the change is destined to fail.

So what does effective change management it look like?

  • “We need to do _____ because if we don’t, _____ will (or will not) happen.”
  • “Changing _____ will result in _____, which is critical because _____.”
  • “The plan is to do _____, which means that first, we’ll need to _____ and then _____” (and so on).

And here are the best ways to ensure failure:

  • Forcing change without allowing for any explanation, discussion, or objection
  • Making a change without articulating goals or expectations
  • Being vague or failing to articulate a clear, actionable plan

Shepherding organizational change

A shepherd caring for his flock is perhaps the most ancient metaphor for leadership.

Ok, so maybe it’s not helpful to think of your team members as sheep — dumb, directionless, and defenseless — but the change itself needs a champion. Someone to explain it, defend it, and guide it.

You should expect some anxiety and resistance when you shake things up. Shepherding change is about anticipating how your plan or strategy will impact others, and reaching out to them.

It may not be your responsibility to convince them; simply help them understand decisions. Acknowledge and validate their concerns or objections. Wherever possible, seek their buy-in or personal commitment to success.

I learned the hard way that the right idea at the wrong time is the wrong idea. You can’t force a major change in the face of mounting resistance, and expect it to succeed. In that instance, you may need to change your approach instead.

15 Seconds

That’s how long I have your attention.

Chartbeat analyzed 2,000,000,000 billion pageviews generated by 580,000 articles on 2,000 sites. They found that 55% of visitors spent fewer than 15 seconds on a page (source).

Most digital marketers will tell you to write short copy for the web, and cram your calls to action “above the fold.” But not me.

Chartbeat goes on to state that 66% of reader engagement is below the [digital] fold. That means people do read on the web — if you can keep them engaged for more than 15 seconds.

Hits and pageviews don’t mean much, isolated from other attention metrics. Are you writing for clicks and traffic (advertising model), or to engage your readers with valuable content? Attention metrics, such as time on page and page depth, will help you gauge how effective your content really is.

How to Optimize Your Website for Donations

95% of the time, nonprofit websites are leaking revenue (buckets of lost income from donations). But not for the reasons you might think…

Revenue Leaks

There are plenty of things we could blame: limited staff and budgets, an older donor base, lack of knowledge or technical skill, fragmented CRM databases and software platforms, organizational politics, and worse. I’ve been in those trenches and I know it’s not easy.

But here’s some good news! You can make one or two simple changes to maximize donations from your current website.

The Top 5 Ways You Can Increase Online Donations

Optimizing your website will take time and resources. But you have to start somewhere. Thankfully, the changes that can have the greatest impact aren’t very difficult or complicated, as the latest research from Nielsen Norman Group points out:

  1. Clearly explain what the organization does.
  2. Disclose how donations are used.
  3. Display third party endorsements.
  4. Provide a noticeable and clear link to donate.
  5. Streamline the donation process.

Keep reading for a more detailed explanation. But let me simplify these findings.

  1. Create donor-focused content.
  2. Make it easy to give.

I’m confident you can make at least one simple change to your existing website — no matter how great or awful it is — to improve the user experience for donors. Don’t wait for the next website re-design or major campaign push. Start now, and dedicate time each week for your team to address the critical needs of donors.

OK. Now Show Me Some Examples!

Earlier on the Masterworks blog, I shared examples of nonprofit charities and ministries that are doing a good job of meeting donors’ needs online. Visit my most recent post to learn how you can put these tips into action today.

See the examples  

Key Takeaway

Don’t stop optimizing your fundraising efforts across email, search, social, and display channels. But make it a priority to meet your donors’ biggest needs online, and all your digital channels will perform better.