Last week Kivi shared some Conversion Copywriting Tips for Nonprofits including advice like “only include one call to action” and “emphasize the why and why now.”

This week, we’ll dive into some more thoughts on making that ask.

First off, if you aren’t getting the results you want from your emails, appeals, and social media posts, you might be sabotaging your asks.

Here are five mistakes nonprofits make when they ask:

1. Assuming One Size Fits All. There is no such thing as the general public. Know your supporters, donors, participants or whoever you are talking to, and customize the way you ask for support to that group.  You should talk to your long-time volunteers differently than you talk to someone you just met. Your major donors have different expectations of you than someone who just clicked “like” on your Facebook page.

2. Being Too Vague. Don’t ask for “support” or “help” or use any of these other weak calls to action. People don’t know what you are asking for. Be specific.

3. Failing to Make It Relevant. What’s in for them? Why should they care? What good will it do? You have to answer these questions or people won’t follow through.

4. Not Making It Super Easy to Do. Put yourself in their shoes and walk through the exact process you are asking others to follow. How can you make it easier and faster? Is donating online super easy? Is getting the right person on the phone super easy?

5. Asking Sheepishly. If you seem embarrassed or guilty when asking, that’s a clear sign to your volunteers or donors that they might feel embarrassed or guilty themselves by following through.

Here are three steps in making your ask:

1. Get Your Call to Action Right. Be sure to not making any of the mistakes we mentioned above. You need to be specific when asking someone to do something. Can you make a video of someone else doing it? Or include pictures? Try breaking your ask into simple, ordered steps or make a checklist.

2. Inspire Them to Follow Through. Combine their interests with your mission. You need to help busy people do what’s important to BOTH of you. Goals are very powerful motivators. What goals could you ask your readers to work toward over the next month? Social proof is also important. Share how others have acted and praise them.

3. Ask, and Expect a “Yes!” Your readers will mirror your attitude about the ask. As we said above, if you are embarrassed to ask, they will be embarrassed to do it. If you present it as an obligation, it will be disregarded. You can’t be wishy-washy with your requests. Be confident and excited! Your followers will be too.

Finally, remember, asking is not about taking. It’s about giving people the power to make a difference.

Include an ask – or a next step – with every article. It’s the green light for your supporters to do or learn more!

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