Good News? Great Time to Ask!

Campaign AdviceHere’s my response to a fantastic question raised by one of our colleague nonprofit communicators this week. Eager to hear your thoughts!

Q:  Should I include an ask in announcing a big win? Tomorrow we’ll email supporters to celebrate a recent victory. This win has not been a focus in our emails to folks on this list, but is something our organization is responsible for (and supporters will care about).

I want to keep supporters excited about our impact, and motivated to give during our year-end campaign (we’ll email a year-end appeal later this week). It seems easiest to  just send a quick victory email sharing the great news and linking to more detail on the win.  But I wonder if it’s best urges folks to take a Thank you action, e.g. “Thank President Obama for this good thing!” Keep in mind I have to send the year-end email later this week, and can’t rework that content (it’s part of a series).

What do you suggest? Thank You action to accompany victory, or just the announcement?

A: Ask away, capitalizing on this joyous and powerful moment!  Catching folks on the upswing—which zigs from our more typical nonprofit zag of mobilization around threat, crisis or flat-out desperation—is powerful! Don’t miss out on this opportunity.

Sounds like you’re concerned that making an ask now will decrease response to your year-end appeal later this week. Start with the announcement, and a big thank you. Then select one of these ways to play it to generate additional wins for your organization:

  • Ask for an action—signing an online thank you to President Obama—to help supporters feel connected to this victory.
    • This enables you to connect the dots between your donors’ support and your org’s impact, especially if this particular issue hasn’t been a communications focus. Let them know how they’ve helped make progress happen. Thank them, and charge them up for more victories like this.
    • Taking an action, even a very small action like signing a thank you note, does make folks feel more involved, and a part of the win. That’s always a good thing.
  • Ask for a donation, even though you’ll be asking again later in the week. This win is a perfect ramp up to an ask, after a huge thank you!
    • The immediacy of the win is likely to motivate some supporters to give right now, especially if you bring the win to life with a story full of vibrant details.
    • Some folks give to year-end campaigns while others prefer to support specific issues and campaigns. Don’t assume you’ll generate a lower donation total this week just because you’re asking twice.

Whatever you ask for, it’ll be a win-win as long as you share the credit for the victory with your supporters! Can’t wait to hear what happens.

What would you do? Please share your take here.

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Nancy Schwartz in Campaign Marketing Models & Tips | 0 comments
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