Mike Hutcheson’s presentation at the July Marketing Monthly Meetup was fabulous, and unapologetically not for the faint-hearted.  

Hutch set the tone from the start by firing missiles at the wimpy, the woke and “even worse” – the accountants – among us.

The legendary ad man and raconteur went on to amuse and inform the crowd of more than 60 marketers with his views on innovation, storytelling, marketing and fundraising, peppered of course with the occasional (OK, probably more than occasional) swear word for maximum impact.

He challenged businesses to actively seek and embrace neurodiverse thinkers (“people who think differently, ideate”) and to recognise that a New Zealander’s strength lies in being a generalist rather than a specialist, that we don’t take things too seriously, and that there are common links of hope and courage that bind us all.

Hutch also shared personal accounts of his relationship with his late father, his children, his recent ADHD diagnosis and anecdotes of working with politicians and pioneers, before embarking on his pearls of wisdom for fundraisers and cause-driven projects alike.

So what are Hutch’s three ingredients needed in any “cause cake”? They are:

Mission: have a clear, well-articulated proposition that explains your purpose and promise;

Money: have enough to launch and sustain the programme (or in other words, “when you teach a bear to dance, you have to keep dancing until the bear wants to stop”); and

Machine: have a credible well-recognised leader and a cohort of volunteers.

Hutch then delivered his 10 commandments of fundraising. These are:

  1. It’s a business not a hobby (ultimately, you can’t be both)
  2. Identify and secure wealthy patron/donor(s)
  3. Craft a compelling narrative
  4. Show love to all your supporters
  5. Remember your volunteers and supporters are amateurs (keep them motivated and bind them into a tribe)
  6. Nurture your stars – and get rid of your prima donnas
  7. Plan a complete strategy (ie ops, social, ads, events etc)
  8. Stay in regular touch through stories – it creates long-term loyalty
  9. Be prepared to schmooze for food
  10. Keep it about the heart, not the head

Hutch’s presentation was unquestionably thought-provoking and insightful, wide-ranging and witty, giving us all an opportunity to reflect on our work as emerging or established business leaders, marketers, fundraisers… and wimpy, woke, heroic or hopeful New Zealanders.