The newest buzzword in fundraising is ‘nudging’. A nudge is a small change in our environment that points us in an alternative direction to change our behaviour, hopefully for the better. They focus on the tiny unconscious decisions we make every day.
For a decade, some face-to-face fundraisers have been using a mix of passion and sales techniques often referred to by the more salesy companies as Neurolinguistics or NLP. This is the belief that certain language and actions make your listener more susceptible to your message.
Using their name in the conversation, nodding and asking ‘yes questions’, mirroring behaviours and language as well as touching them on the arm to elicit a positive response are all used to get your prospective donor to agree to the donation. The problem is that often these techniques are used instead of passion not in conjunction with it. A pitch that relies solely on tricks will lead to a pledge and a hurried cancellation once the donor wakes from their trance.
Whilst I maintain that passion is not to be dropped from the fundraisers repertoire, we can use a series of nudges leading up to the conversation to get more potential donors to stop and chat, and be more open to our ask without leaving them with regret and the urge to cancel.
I have a whole host of ideas that I’d like to test with a charity or agency in Sydney that may see an increase in conversations and conversions.
Email me if you would like to be part of our social experiment.