|Vague requests > token gifts Image by Gamma Man
A person is more likely to give if they know how much is expected of them. Ask for a specific dollar amount. Don’t be vague, as in “any amount helps.” Don’t be passive. This beggar didn’t just sit on the sidewalk with a cup in front of her. I didn’t have to decide how much money she might appreciate. She told me specifically. She wasn’t aggressive. I didn’t feel “hit up”. And I didn’t feel apprehensive that the amount I gave would be too little or too much. I knew exactly what was being asked of me.
|Picture tells a story|
A person is more likely to help someone if they feel their contribution will make a significant difference in that person’s situation.When you ask, help me picture what the money will be used for. Ideally, it should be something I can visualize. Use words that immediately bring a picture to mind – like you, or the people helped by your organization, eating a sandwich. Or tell me a story – like a beggar’s sign informing me you’ve served your country. And don’t despair if you’re not a direct service organization. Show me a picture – like a cross burning on someone’s lawn (advocacy organization)… wide-eyed children being inspired at a museum (arts organization)… that helps me feel what the people you’re trying to help might be feeling. I’ve got to be able to perceive the unfolding drama – and the happy ending – that will come about as a result of my contribution. See ONE Incredibly Dramatic Way to Create Winning Content.
|Fresh, direct approach|
A person is more likely to pay attention if your approach is fresh and different from everyone else. This beggar was neither passive nor aggressive. There was nothing slick, sleazy or manipulative about her (at least from my perspective). Sometimes it pays to look at what others are doing; then do the opposite. Of course, this isn’t always the case. There’s a reason the tried-and-true is tried-and-true. But it bears consideration. Could you stand out more? Could you fix something that isn’t exactly broken, but that could function more effectively? There may be a different way you can ask, or a different place you can use as a platform for your message. SeeWhy If It’s Not Broke Don’t Fix It No Longer Applies.