Much of our work in nonprofit marketing and fundraising is about persuasion. How can we convince people to support our work with their time or money or to change their own behaviors? It all starts with asking for what we need in a clear, convincing way.
Here are three steps to getting people to give, volunteer, or act:
1. Get Your Call to Action Right
If you want people to do something, you have to be clear and specific about what that thing is and how they should do it. Try these ideas:
- Make it visual. Take a photo or video of someone completing your call to action.
- Step-by-step. Break down your call to action into simple, ordered steps.
- Checklists. People love checking off boxes! Give them a list they can work through.
2. Inspire Them to Follow Through
It’s not enough to get the call to action right. You need to show your supporters why they should act.
- Combine their interests with your mission. It’s not about your nonprofit’s needs. It’s about helping busy people do what’s important to both of you.
- Don’t assume problems and solutions are obvious. Most of the people you are talking to don’t have the same perspective you do or know as much about your mission. Be sure you are clear about what is happening and how they can help solve it.
- Give them a goal to work towards. Progressing toward a goal is a very powerful motivator.
- Show social proof. Tell them your personal experiences and show who else is helping in the same way.
3. Ask and Expect a YES!
We mirror social cues. If you are embarrassed to ask, they’ll be embarrassed to do it. Or if you present it as an afterthought, we’ll disregard it.
Be confident and genuinely excited about what you’re doing. They will be too.
You may not get a “yes” right out of the gate, so be sure to have your comeback lines ready. Acknowledge their objections, but have a solution ready, then quickly get back to the impact of them following through.
If you still aren’t getting the results you want, make sure you aren’t doing any of these 5 Ways Nonprofits Blow Their Asks.