I always think of the Red Cross being there in times of need – providing essentials to families whose home was destroyed by fire or assisting victims of natural disasters – but rarely do I consider where their supplies come from. In St. Louis, the local Red Cross made a concerted effort to gather items in an unusual way by placing donation bags on homes throughout neighborhoods.

Rather than utilizing a brown paper bag or a normal-sized plastic bag, the Red Cross ensured their donation bags would not be missed by making them bright pink and oversized. In addition, they were placed in unusual locations: on garage door openers, mailboxes, garage door handles, etc. Even if you did not contribute, you couldn’t miss the fact that the Red Cross was collecting and learn what items they found desirable.

In one effort, the Red Cross communicated their message, got noticed and gathered donations. The next time you’re tempted to do an appeal by sending a letter or posting on social media think about the giant pink bags of the Red Cross. How can you follow their example and take a unique approach to encourage donations?

Thanks, Brian!

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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