How nimble are you?

May 2, 2016

Regardless of your personal political persuasion, one lesson we can learn from big political campaigns and organizations that regularly respond to unexpected events or crises, is nimbleness.

Last week we witnessed an innovative example of how to react quickly and creatively to real-world news in the Clinton campaign’s roll-out of the chance for donors to receive their very own “Woman Card.”

woman card

Within a day of the time this story hit the news cycle, a new fundraising campaign had been launched with a catchy yet inexpensive incentive (in limited quantities of course). It struck while emotions were high and expanded beyond the traditional “help me win” message, potentially catching the attention of people who may have grown immune to nonstop campaign communications, or who perhaps did not see themselves as campaign donors – until now.

Because these big campaigns operate with very large staffs and ample resources, quick turnarounds of ideas like this can seem elusive for the rest of us. But when it comes down to it, this campaign wouldn’t have been able to launch this effort without a set of attitudes, actions, and relationships that set the course for nimbleness.

Any organization of any size can choose to operate in this way. All it takes is:

  1. A desire to seek out and seize opportunity.
  2. A team of creative and strategic thinkers, both inside and outside the organization, who can help put ideas together quickly as opportunity arises.
  3. Strong relationships internally and with external partners and vendors who are invested enough in your work to help make your project happen in record time.

Learn from the biggies, then scale it to your own situation.

Results update May 4: The Clinton campaign reports that it raised $2.4 million from 115,000 donors in just three days. 40%  were new donations. Way to go fundraisers!