These days, it’s pretty common to be solicited for support for a cause through email, social media ads, phone calls, direct mail and good old fashion stopping people in the streets. In fact, people are so inundated with messages trying to encourage them to give or support a cause that it can become a turnoff and make people more reluctant to give.

Attracting support, whether its volunteers, donors or advocates to you cause is getting harder than ever. There is however some basics that still apply.

Firstly ensure your website has lots of great content and stories to attract the potential supporter. Secondly let the them know the impact their support will have. Whether it’s what their money will do or what their volunteering will achieve.

Thirdly display proudly social proofing, statistics of your achievements, this helps potential supporters see what can be achieved through their support. Fourthly make the donation process as simple and streamline as possible.

In this edited version of ‘5 Ways to Make People Love Your Cause’ we look at some of the other ways non-profits can motivate potential support for their cause.

Cultivate a personal relationship
You can’t reach out to a supporter and act like they mean the world to you without knowing anything about them. The first step to cultivating a personal relationship is getting to know more about your supporters.

To get started, ask supporters to fill in a survey form during the initial sign up. On subsequent interactions, keep collecting more information about their interests, motivations, willingness to donate etc.

Once you have data on your supporters, do a basic segmentation on your donor list based on supporter type and interests. For example, if you’re a child right’s organization, supporters who care about more about education rights should receive communication that’s different from those who care about healthcare.

The point is to align your communication with what the supporter cares about.

Anyone who supports your mission does so because they believe that the combined effort of your actions can change the world. Earn the trust of your supporters by making sure they know that you are in fact changing the world.

Your impact should be evident on your website as well as your outreach material. Beneficiary stories, volunteer stories, financial reporting, donation tracking all work together to create a transparent culture around your non-profit that supporters grow to trust over the long term.

Keep in touch
If you can’t find a way to stay connected to your supporters, it won’t be long before they lose interest or worse yet, forget that you exist. A best practice is to diversify the channels and type of content with which you connect with supporters.

Content should be a healthy mix of beneficiary stories, event invitations, thank you notes, fundraising appeals, blog posts, updates, and call to actions so as to not appear monotonous.

Choosing multiple channels ensures that supporters are not overwhelmed over certain channels. It also extends the reach of your non-profit to people who are more comfortable with a certain channel of communication.

Passion is contagious
If you can convey passion in your engagement with supporters, that goes a long way to getting them excited about the cause. Passion gives people a glimpse of the human side of your non-profit.

And that passion is often enough to sell people on the idea, the idea that something is worth caring about.

Check out the Twitter feed of Habitat for Humanity for a few good examples —they have a healthy mix of content on their page, both created and curated with each post coming with a caption that exudes a passion for the cause.

Mutually beneficial relationships
Why non-profits need supporters is evident. Why do supporters need you? The data that you collect on them helps reveal that.

Identify the underlying needs that brought a supporter to you and connect with them through those needs.

Others may be supporting you because they identify on a personal level with the cause. Other reasons include — a tradition of giving in the family, religious beliefs, to feel good about themselves,

Identify the need and connect through it.

The above-mentioned steps offer a practical way to treat the names on your list as important and in turn remain important to them. The basics are simple — take the time to know the person, be open about your successes and failures,

Remember to keep in touch (without appearing needy), and make sure both sides are benefitting from the relationship.

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