We all know the big goal of any nonprofit organization—besides their mission—is getting the funding they need to support that mission. As donor mindsets change (think millennials) your approach must change to. No matter what generation you’re marketing to, and what appeals to them, basing some of your strategy on behavioral science is a smart way to go.
Commitment and Consistency
People like to be consistent with the actions they take and the causes they support. And they perpetuate this consistency without thinking about it much—it’s kind of automatic. The scientific name for this decision-making shortcut is called the “Commitment and Consistency Principle.” If you can get a donation once from a donor, it’s likely you can get it again. This is even more true if you start out asking for something small and if the person’s “yes” is made public. Here are some ways to work this principle into your fundraising and marketing campaigns:
Ask for a public pledge
This sounds like a bigger deal than it is. But it’s really not, and it’s free. All your prospect has to do is say yes, that they support your organization. (Do you support a happy life for all cats? YES!)
You can ask prospects this question over social media, or post pledges you collect yourself. Once the commitment is public, the pledge maker will feel more pressure to follow through with their promise. So when you follow up asking for a donation, chances are the answer will be a yes.
Ask a question
One easy way to do this is to send your prospect a survey. Once they’ve completed the survey and offered up their various thoughts and opinions, end the survey with an opportunity to donate. After opening your mail and answering all your questions there’s a much higher likelihood the person will donate. They have, in essence, said “yes” to you over and over again just by participating.
Ask for a positive review
You might do this by promoting a contest on social media where people comment on what’s positive about your organization. Much like the public pledge, writing out their views for all to see makes people feel more inclined to stand behind their words.
This is because when our beliefs and actions align we feel good. So when your request for a donation arrives, your prospect is more likely to offer the support you need because all their feelings and beliefs are in alignment.
Keep the donations coming
Once you get a person to support your organization, especially publicly, it becomes much easier to keep those donations coming. Apply these three techniques to your digital and direct marketing campaigns to get results for your organization today.