- Thu, March 01 2012
- Filed under: Marketing essentials
My mentor, Bill Novelli, once said to me, “If we’re simply in the business of ‘building awareness,’ we might as well be shoveling pamphlets out of airplanes.” The point is, nonprofit marketing (and fundraising) is about motivating people to do something - not just think something. Channel attention into action if you want to change the world.
So how do you get people to act? You want to speak to their values and connect to them emotionally, obviously. But it also helps to have a sense of urgency. Don’t just tell them to act, show why they need to act NOW.
Here are five ways to build that sense of urgency.
1. Set a deadline. As any procrastinator knows, nothing concentrates the mind like an imminent deadline. Set a goal and tie it to a date. People will be far more likely to give or take action as the deadline approaches.
2. Make it close. When people sense you’re close to the finish line on a goal, they are more inclined to help you cross it. If you’re close to your goal, show how people can put you over the top. It creates tremendous urgency.
3. Create scarcity. When people feel an opportunity is running out, they are more inclined to take action. “Get your tickets now - only ten seats left at our gala!” is better than “attend our gala!”
4. Be specific. As I like to say, it’s easy to say no to something hard and hard to say no to something easy. Make your call to action clear, quick and easy and people are more likely to act now.
5. Build a campaign - or join one. On this topic, the Case Foundation and Razoo have a new guide to fundraising under the umbrella of giving days: “How Giving Contests Can Strengthen Nonprofits and Communities.” Check it out here for tips on using these giving days to generate donations for your cause.