Saturday, March 28, 2009

The 411 on the YGC - "It's better than free."

By popular request, here are the easy steps in the care and feeding of your local, word-of-mouth (WOM) Connection Engine.

Our marketing folks made a simple acronym – J-D-I-C-R-S-F-R. (There’s a complimentary, lifetime membership for the first person who creates a catchy mnemonic.) It’s very much like Facebook or LinkedIn, so you Web 2.0, social networkers will feel right at home.

1. Join – you already did that? Woo-HOOO! If not, just go to

2. Designate your favorite charity –identify the not-for-profit organization that will receive funds generated from your word-of-mouth referrals. This feature was added a few months ago. All Members can edit their designated not-for-profit (NFP) by logging in and editing their profile. Please do this. Otherwise your donations will go to the NFP of the Month.

3. Invite – tell your friends, neighbors and co-workers about your Connection Engine. On your Member home page, click on “Invite a Friend or Trusted Service Provider” to
a. invite from your email contacts in Gmail, Yahoo Mail or Hotmail
b. upload from your Outlook contacts; or
c. invite individuals by email

Or you can tell your friends to go to They can indicate they were invited by you when they register.

4. Connectfind your friends, neighbors and co-workers who are already Members. This will enable you to locate their trusted service providers (TSP) and vice versa.

5. Refer – This is the whole point, so listen up. handles your WOM referrals just like normal WOM. These referrals fall into 2 categories:
a. Active – This is just like when you tell your friend, “You gotta call so-and-so for this or that…” In, you give an active referral to either a Member or non-Member by sending a link from the TSP’s Home Page.

From your Member Home Page, just click the TSP’s link and then click “Refer a Friend” on the left.

b. Passive – your connected Members can find and connect with your TSPs without you doing a thing. And you still generate donations for your favorite charity. Sound easy? It is. That’s why we call it passive.

6. Search for / Find a TSP - These passive referrals happen when another Member searches for a Vendor. Results can be filtered the results to see just those TSPs trusted by their connected Members.

7. Reward – when a Member becomes a new customer of a TSP, they split the TSP’s reward with the Member who referred them. Their designated NFPs receive the reward amount* in the Members’ names.

Folks – this is not rocket science. Sure, it may look complicated, but remember your high school English assignment to write step-by-step instructions for tying your shoes? And now you tie your shoes without even thinking too hard, right? Same thing.

We’re always working on adding other neat stuff, like iPhone and Facebook integration, real-time reports so you can track your connections, referrals and rewards. But this is the “need-to-know” in 578 words or less.

Our success in raising $$$ for your favorite charity depend on more Connecticut-ians** learning about YouGottaCall. You now have all the tools you need to invite and refer, so what are you waiting for? Log-in and grow your Connection Engine.

We expect to see a huge surge in Membership – call it a nice little 50th birthday gift for your network’s humble founder.

Thanks – and good referring,

- - Tim

* You were probably wondering “What’s in it for them?” retains a percentage of this - currently 20%.
** Just in Connecticut for now.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tapping Into Social Networks to Raise Funds and Build Community

Two articles by Association of Fundraising Professionals on the emerging role of social networks.

Welcome to Web 2.0: Where Community Comes First, Then Fundraising
With all the buzz around social networking, what should a fundraiser do about it? Is it worth your time? Jono Smith, vice president of marketing at Network for Good advises us to ask a few important questions before diving in.

Raise More Money with Less by Embracing Self-Organized ‘Swarms’

What happens when companies and individuals take it upon themselves to organize their own efforts to raise awareness and money for your cause? What do you do? How do you control the message? How do you protect your donors?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Meanwhile, at the Hartford County HBA Home Remodeling Show

More trusted businesses in action at the 62nd Hartford County HBA Home & Remodeling Show

Mark and Sherry Brady of Brady Kitchens (Simsbury) are cooking right along at the Hartford Convention Center.

Jonathan Goric of Closet Crafters (Vernon) now features window treatments in addition to his remodeling services.

Eric and Giles Michaud of Michaud Enterprises (Farmington) display their 44 years of craftsmanship.

Mr. Shower Door of Avon
was busy handling interested prospects.

It's more important than ever to find local businesses you can trust.

With the spring contracting season approaching, our goal for March is to help
more consumers and small business owners by doubling our network size.

We need your help - please tell your friends about today.

Also tell your trusted local businesses that they can grow their sales and help the community by starting their Connection Engine.

Thanks and best wishes,

Tim Tracey, Founder