MEGables August 2018 - Volume 12...The Game-Changing Keystone Habit

The Game-Changing Keystone Habit

In his bestselling book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg, describes how individuals and institutions are shaped by habits. Duhigg's "habit loop" shows a habit split into its three parts, the cue, the routine, and the reward. 

Referencing multiple studies, he explains that the key catalyst action to alter or replace a habit, is to change the routine. 

Citing insightful case studies, he details how some habits set in motion a transformative chain reaction whereby other patterns are altered or replaced over time. He calls them "keystone habits". 

Trailblazing with our monthly giving program customers for five plus years, we've identified one keystone habit that distinguishes the uber-successful programs from those with more modest results. That keystone habit is making monthly giving a Priority, Intentional, Every time ( PIE) ask. 

Priority means that it is highlighted and elevated relative to the traditional one-time gift appeal. Intentional refers to the ask including a succinct, compelling explanation of "why monthly giving". Every time suggests that there is a drumbeat consistency of monthly giving presentation in appeals. 

What does that new PIE monthly giving ask habit loop look like? 

The cue, which is a donor ask opportunity, remains the same. The routine is changed as the traditional one-time gift ask presentation is altered to integrate a PIE monthly giving ask. The reward part of the loop continues to be the donor's decision to give. 

With that, the long-term reward, the lifetime dollar value and engagement level of the monthly giver are greatly enhanced. 

Why are keystone habits so effective in catalyzing positive change? 

Keystone habits work in three primary ways. First, they lead to small wins. Those wins add up and encourage the addition of other 'structures', which as Duhigg suggests, " other habits to flourish." Finally, keystone habits facilitate "Cultures where new values become ingrained."

Recently, one of our new customers made PIE monthly giving asks at their annual volunteer kick-off open houses. They were rewarded with "small wins" in the form of thirty-three new monthly giver sign-ups. Their success inspired them to make plans for three additional ask opportunities in the next ninety days and to accelerate their monthly giving program ambassadors team roll-out. 

The enthusiastic feedback that the development team has received from their non-development staff teammates since the small wins suggests that the seeds planted with the PIE monthly giving ask habit are already sprouting in the form of an enhanced organizational culture of philanthropy. 

Make PIE monthly giving's a game-changing keystone habit. 

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MEG knows her friendship psychology.

100 million sold in the first ten weeks.

Crazy-fun, utterly brilliant, wildly successful, and, they taste pretty good too.

Glen Bell, the Taco Bell founder, is often recognized for his 'Recipes for Success.' 

Appropriately, his number one recipe: "the best ideas often are the simplest."