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Tree Giveaways: Lessons Learned & Best Practices

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Tree Giveaways: Lessons Learned & Best Practices

  1. 1. Tree Giveaways Lessons Learned & Best Practices
  2. 2. Tree Giveaways • The Problem • Our Theory • What we Did • How’d we Do • Best Practices
  3. 3. The Problem + = ?
  4. 4. Our Theory… Understanding human behavior and setting expectations will improve results WIIFM with societal pressures produce optimal outcomes
  5. 5. What we Did •Reframe as “Adoption” •Pre-registration •Reminder email pickup •Certificate of Adoption •Reminder emails commitments
  6. 6. What we Wanted to Do, but Didn’t… Sign up with a buddy – neighbor, friend
  7. 7. How’d we Do • 40% of pre-register no show Survey says: • ~65% planted and survived • ~10% never planted • 26% didn’t recall any of the education material provide or the follow-up email • Commitments – few registered their tree • Goal was more shade, wasn’t recipients’ motivation
  8. 8. Best Practices 10) Branding 9) “Adoption” vs “Giveaway” 8) Pick venue to match needs 7) Clearly identify event sponsor goals, calibrate with community motivations/set metrics 6) Determine tree species match demand 5) Pre-registration – get a deposit! 4) Use Technology 3) Provide information on select, plant, and care 2) Connect how recipients want to interact 1) Thank/celebrate
  9. 9. Dan Dinell ddinell@treesforhonolulu.org MAHALO!

Hinweis der Redaktion

  • Aloha! Here to talk tree giveaways. Even though Hawaii is at least 2500 miles away from all of you, what we did and learned, will, I’m confident be helpful to those either planning their first community tree event or the super experienced. All about a learning journey.

  • I’m going to cover all these points from an event we held exactly a year ago.

    First, let’s look at the problem…
  • So first the problem.

    Key issue: you gear up, you get plants propagated, have enthusiastic volunteers, eager recipients, but what happens? What is the result?
  • So our theory is if we create obligation and societal pressure we will achieve better outcomes, which we defined as the right tree in the right place getting the right care.

    Historically consider persuasive campaigns that worked like Victory Gardens – it accomplished a dual function, firstly, production, something in it for the people – the WIIFM -- who participated – they got food during a war, and two, common purpose, a social/societal push, really a national calling; that was also something that made people feel good.

    Read this book from 2015? Behavior scientist David Halpern outlines how a group of people became an extension of the Prime Minister’s office in Britain to improve outcomes. Little things, like when the tax office sent out letters to folks who owed taxes they added a single sentence “most people pay their tax on time” – and it boosted payment rates by several percentage points and generated millions more in pounds for government coffers.

    Unfortunately, Dr. Halpern didn’t study tree giveaways, but we did…and this is what we did…we wanted to tap into these powerful motivators.
  • First we presented the event not as a giveaway, but a “tree adoption”, a framing intended to inspire recipients to care for their tree as they would a pet. The human psychology is you might get excited about something that is FREE, but will you value it as much?

    We had a pre-registration website to create urgency – put approximately 2/3 of our expected inventory that way; created urgency, however, when we sent the reminder email, we had about 5% respond and cancel. We took walk ins so that worked out well.

    See here our “Certificate of Adoption” – I brought a bunch of hardcopies [pass them around], filled in the name of the tree and at check out reminded them of 3 commitments – properly plant, register the tree with the City, and report back/post about their tree. Recipients actually signed their own certificate – we felt this would create OBLIGATION. Feel free to use the QR code to go to the special landing page. And we had them sign the certificate. Again, our theory, based on the book Nudge was this would help cement commitment.

    Finally, we sent reminder emails.

    There was something we wanted to do, but didn’t…
  • Back to the Victory Garden idea, we wanted this idea of an accountability partner. While we think this is a good, idea, we just couldn’t execute on it – too complex, encourage others to consider it.

  • First, a big miss – 40% pre-registered and then didn’t show up. That we knew from the sign-up data.

    Then we did a survey this past summer, to understand The Problem I outlined before – what happened to the trees? We got a 20% response rate and we calculated at a 95% confidence level.

    Approx 2/3 of the trees adopted planted and were alive 8 months later. Surprisingly 10% responded to the survey and admitted they didn’t plant the tree they received – we think this is low, likely closer to 20% as responses were 15% planted and died.

    Another BIG miss – a quarter of the respondents, now these are dedicated folks who responded to our email invitation to take the survey, said they recalled NONE of the education material provided or follow-up emails.

    Remember those Certificates of Adoptions? Folks signed a commitment, yet working with the City we found only a slight uptick in online registrations, one of the 3 things we asked them to do and obstetrically the recipient agreed to do.

    Another miss – this chart shows it, we were messaging around shade and to a lesser extent climate change, but those weren’t what the survey respondents told us – culturally significant (there is a big push for “native” plants and the second most cited reason was to “grow fruit” – this borne out with the first two species on pre-reg to “sell out” where fruit trees.
  • With apologies to David Letterman and anyone too young to remember him, Dan’s Top 10

    At #10, branding – having an attractive logo and consistent look/feel stands out – we had a volunteer whose background is graphics, but even if you don’t, you can find someone readily through networking with your fellow ACT members or even online.

    9) Frame the program design positively, e.g. tree “adoption” to underscore responsibility for a living thing. “Free” while catchy, does not properly value the offering.

    8) Find a venue that meets your needs – we did at the island’s largest farmers’ market, lots of parking, everyone knows where it is.

    7) Clearly identify event sponsor goals and help the community understand them in relevant marketing and communication. Set metrics of success connected to goals and measure same, not just day of event, but follow-up afterwards. MEASURE!

    #6) Survey, or use prior event “demand” data, to determine which species of trees participants want.

    5) Pre-registration is a pandemic necessity, but it is a smart strategy to get the desired trees to residents as well as create more connection between the organizers and the recipients; however, do note, a monetary deposit or other form of cementing a commitment is important or else no shows may be higher than expected.

    4) This photo – everybody is looking at their phones – it’s because we had walk ups using QR codes, getting them to type in all their information. Paperless and smart, until…we had one person who came up and didn’t have a smart phone; I scratched my head for a moment and then thought, “heh, just use mine” – point is need to have accommodations.

    3) Provide information on how to select, plant, and care for trees, as well as have experts available to answer questions. Even if a quarter of the recipients don’t remember, this is critical!

    2) Focus on connecting with participants in the ways they want to interact with event sponsors, e.g.: in addition to online, allow phone or paper-based pre-registration, planting and care information online and printed, use phone calls/emails as follow-up how the recipient wants to connect.

    1) Thank everyone and celebrate…
  • It takes a village!

    Here at the conference -- Heather McMillian – funding. Wai Lee – Smart Trees Pacific, our Yoda.

    Thank you very much.

    Time for Questions – or at next break, happy to; or email me

    Now to introduce….