How Research-Driven Organizations Become Thought Leaders

100 Touches

A former Nature Conservancy scientist and colleague once asked this question:

How many “touches” would he need to have with a prospective principal gifts donor before that donor finally gave their gift to the organization?

No one knew. So over the years, he counted.

The answer? On average: 100.

One hundred emails, calls, notes, encounters, meetings.

One hundred touches — over a period of years — before the donor would agree to make a commitment of support.

Of millions of dollars.

How many touches do your audiences — policy, civic, corporate, philanthropic, agency — need before you’ve persuaded them? Recruited them? Even communicated with them?

What if you thought about those touches as portfolios?

What if you planned those portfolios?

How many of those touches should be your thought leadership? Or thought leadership from your researchers?

Your best thinking, guidance and solutions on issues your audiences care about — or don’t know about but should? In language they can understand?

Videos, opinion text, infographics, talks, podcasts, webinars…

How much more effective would this content make your cultivation strategy?

The prospect of producing thought leadership content often looks daunting going forward.

When you plan backwards from the results you want, though, it looks brilliant. And obvious.