Posted by: mikebodinesayshello | October 17, 2011

Buying In

As I read Katz’s article on the two-step flow of communication, there were a few concepts that I found relevant to my own work. The concept of reaching the “opinion leader” in development is very important, especially for capital campaigns. In this context, opinion leaders represent people in our community that stay connected to the school and have the greatest number of social contacts in the extended alumni community. Often, our opinion leaders’ values and principles align with that of the school, making them ambassadors of our brand.

When we undergo a capital campaign, a small group of committee members is identified based on their willingness to support the campaign, and on their social ‘location.’ The school disseminates information about the campaign to the committee and the committee members pass on that information to each of their contacts. At later stages of the campaign, the committee members’ contacts pass the ‘ask’ on to their own contacts. When fundraising is done this way, interpersonal influence is being used to persuade potential donors.

Discussion Question:

Is there a person in your life that you can identify as a opinion leader?

What kinds of information are you willing to accept from opinion leaders?

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