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The Logic of the Illogical: Homer Simpson For Nonprofits

Your cause is compelling. Your reasoning and arguments impeccable; your fundraising letter a paragon of virtue. So why aren’t people clamoring to help you solve that terrible problem? It would be so much easier if everyone acted rationally and in expected ways. But, as any fundraiser has discovered, people don’t always act rationally or according to formula.

There has recently been a slew of books and articles about behavioral economics from a lineup of serious thinkers about the human psyche. Behavioral economics has emerged as a field unto itself. You’ve probably read a book or a couple of articles about it and realized its implications for nonprofits in their eternal quest to move people to some action or another. But the application doesn’t come that easily.

Now, there is a marvelous (free) ebook (only 22 pages long) that takes these principles and applies them to the world of causes. Homer Simpson for Nonprofits: The Truth about How People Really Think and What It Means for Promoting Your Cause is written by the marvelous Katya Andresen, of Network for Good, along with Alia McKee and Mark Rovner of Sea Change Strategies. These good folks have sorted through the principles of behavioral economics, choosing the ones that apply most to our nonprofit or cause-linked work, and developed examples of their application in real life.

It’s still a good thing to grab every article and book on this topic for reading when you get a chance (I’m working my way through Chip and Dan Heath’s Switch right now), but if you want a cheat sheet filled with ideas to use today (well, maybe tomorrow), then download Homer Simpson For Nonprofits. Keep it next to you right there with your style book, dictionary, and thesaurus. Start getting your arms around the irrational. There is a path through the thicket of human thought and actions, and this book will show the way, quickly, clearly, and easily.

Photo: Homer Simpson at his movie premier. Gaye Gerard/Getty Images

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The Logic of the Illogical: Homer Simpson For Nonprofits originally appeared on About.com Nonprofit Charitable Orgs on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 at 17:07:54.

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