When you're raising funds, you always have a call to action. And that is always give.
That's where confusion often crops up. You see a lot of fundraising that have calls to action like these:
- Think well of us. It's good if they do think well of you, but that's not the point.
- Learn this important fact. Education seldom leads to a gift. It's more likely to be the other way around: People who give to a cause tend to become educated about it.
- Change the way you think about our issue. Changing your thinking is one of the most difficult things any of us ever faces. A letter in the mailbox or an email is not an effective way to get people to do that. As with education, taking action leads to changed thinking.
- Write a check (or go online). They need to do that, but it's only part of the call to action.
The call to action is give. Give now. Give to change the world in a very specific way.
Don't hide it, don't get replace it with other things, and don't downplay it.
(This post first appeared on June 30, 2010.)