Have you been in the position where you issued a call to action and the response was, well, pretty sad?
You probably thought you yourself, “This is such an important issue! It’s at the core of our mission! How can our supporters not respond?!”
I’ve been there, and it’s disheartening when you feel your your supporters aren’t there when you need them the most.
Then I realized that I was looking at it the wrong way. Our supporters were definitely there for us (they donated or signed up for our newsletter at some point, right?). They have already demonstrated some sort of support by giving us their contact information.
The problem was on our end. We didn’t really give our supporters a reason to do anything beyond donating. Donating is easy for most people; but anything more than that requires effort. And to have someone put in additional effort for you is really asking for a lot.
So how do you get them to put in a little extra effort?
If there’s something you’re passionate about, you don’t really think twice whether or not you should do something about it. You just do.
And that’s the emotional response level every nonprofit wants from their donors. The emotional, passionate donors are the ones that keep coming back to help. They respond when you call. They donate every year, they sign that petition, they lobby their congressmen, and they come to your events.
That is what brings to value to the work you’re doing.
So you have to help your donors get to that point with you. Here are 5 tips on how to achieve that:
- Give them something to talk about. You talk when you have something to say, right? So if you have a group of people gathered and they have something in common (i.e. your cause), you already have an easy entry point to hold a conversation with them.
- Give them a community. In order to talk online, however, you need to give your supporters a place to do so. This could be your Facebook page, Twitter hashtag, or community bulletin board. Establish this wherever most of your supporters are, and bring them together to talk to you and each other.
- Give them kindness. Friendliness will encourage your supporters to open up and share. By simply reaching out to people in a warm way, you can engage them and start building trust.
- Give them tools. If they’re going to create a movement for you, you have to arm them with the things they need to execute. Whether it’s as simple as a Twibbon or as complex as a toolkit, make it easy for your supporters to take action for you.
- Give them what they need. Though your supporters may have a common denominator for backing you up, they may have other needs you can help fulfill. Some could be looking for emotional support, others may need resources. As you get to know your community one-on-one, think of ways you can supply them with other things they need. After all, you’re there for them, right?
Notice a pattern here? Give! Give and you shall receive.
What are some of your thoughts?