For some time, I’ve been wanting to see the movie the “Founder” which is the story about Ray Krok and McDonalds. So the other night, my wife and I rented it and sat back.
Going in, I thought it was going to be the story about how an idea grew into such a massive scale. How one man single handedly built an empire – a great business movie to watch and learn from.
But what was about is simply this – if you don’t take your incredible idea and grow it or move it to the next level, someone else will. What happened in the story (which holds true in regard to charities), two (2) brothers came up with the idea of McDonalds and how to serve their customers in a “Speedy” constant way. They did not have a lot of their menu, their goal was deliver quality quickly over quantity in a time when “Drive Up’s with girls on Roller Skates” were the hit.
Well, the two McDonald brothers did want to franchise their store. Along came Ray Krok who could picture the ability to expand. The brothers fought it for all they were worth, but Ray saw otherwise. He took their idea, eventually figured out a way to improve it then overtook the ownership making it what it is today – the most popular restaurant in the world, feeding at least 1% of the worlds population on a daily basis, well worth in the billions.
What Ray, with help, figured out was they were in the “Real Estate” business, not food service. They bought the land that the restaurants sit on and lease it to the franchisee. If the Franchisee doesn’t follow his direction, he revokes the land lease. That easy. The land then builds value and his profits go through the roof.
What should a charity learn by this? Well, what I’ve been preaching all along. It’s not about how great your hamburgers are or your charity is, it’s about expansion, constantly evolving, staying fresh and consistent. Its about expansion in that your charity must do whatever it needs to do to constantly grow, reach new people, new donor’s and spur growth.
If you stay the same, but have a great idea, believe me…someone will “swoop” right in and steal your idea and grow it. You will be just a memory like the McDonald brothers are and were. Seriously, do you even know their names?
Now – how does a charity expand? By following these simple rules:
#1 – Your web presence must be stellar – Your website is the face of your charity. If is not “Top Notch”, donors and sponsors will go look, not be impressed and you will never know they were there snooping around. It’s not like the old days when people came to your office – they first go to your website.
#2 – Be the Dancing Monkey – If people felt so strongly about your mission, you would have no need to host fundraisers. There would be stacks of checks in the mail every day. Give them what they want – a fantastic event that attracts people to it first, then to your charity.
#3 – There are no emotions in business – People will steal your ideas. Let me give you a very real life example. A long time ago, people use to attend my events and literally video tape what we were doing and write down everything we had displayed. But what they did not know was the method or reason behind it. They wanted to steal my ideas and do them on their own – they failed. Why did they fail? Let me tell you why, because they did not know what the reasons were behind certain things. What I mean by there are no emotions in business is this – people don’t care. Everyone, every charity is out for themselves and themselves only.
#4 – How to expand – This takes work. If you have the ability to expand your charity into other states, do it. Allow people from other areas in the country to get involved. Remember, you own the land (your charity), they are just opening a store on it. You control what goes on.
These are just ideas, notions to consider. But like Ray Krok and the McDonald brothers, if you don’t move forward with your idea, someone else will.
BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North American Charity Fundraising Leader in a "One Stop Shop" convenient setting. If you would like our help, contact us at www.BWUnlimited.com or call us directly at 443 206 6121.