How to create the perfect giving environment on your blog
People love to give. No matter how much we hate to admit it, it really does feel better to give than receive.
It's true when you give to others and it's certainly true when people give to YOU. If someone stops by your nonprofit's blog and is even remotely interested in your cause, they're looking to you to guide and educate them about why and how they should give.
Someone else might be there because YOU made them aware of the cause they now want to give to. People want to give. They need you to tell them it's OK. Let me explain. Fundraising with a blog isn't about convincing people to give. It’s about overcoming their objections to giving to YOU. You need to show them why they ALREADY want to give to you. Potential donors are naturally uneasy.
This is why everyone talks so much about "cultivation." They need to know if this is the correct solution to the issue at hand. They need to know that your org is the one to provide that solution. It sucks when someone doesn't appreciate or use your gift. Obviously, there's no way for the donor to be 100% sure you're going to use their money wisely. But there are ways to get them to take action and give even with limited information.
One of those ways is by directly addressing most of their concerns about giving you their money. This is usually what gets them to the point where they can make a leap of faith. Blogs are great at this. All you have to do is publish the answers to questions and objections you hear from prospects all the time. But getting them to the point of leaping and making them leap are two separate issues. You can lead a horse to water...etc.
Luckily, blogs inherently give you a whole other bag of tricks that can push your donors over the edge. If horses were donors and drinking was giving, a blog can give you power over the weather. In other words, you can make the sun hotter until they have no choice but to drink. When was the last time you saw a cowboy do that? Here’s some of the ways your blog can create the perfect giving environment:
- Authority – people need to know that you know what you're doing, and they're more likely to give to you if they can be convinced that you are THE authority at meeting a valid need in society.
- Integrity – blogs give you a context for demonstrating your high standards by providing useful and high-quality information to your donors.
- Credibility – people believe that what they're reading on your blog is true, so they're more likely to give.
- Familiarity – people give to people and after a while, people reading your blog will feel like they know you.
- Involvement – the give-and-take that happens on blogs through comments, etc. causes your readers to feel a sense of ownership which is an important step in the cultivation process.
- Social Proof – comments and subscriber numbers provide the evidence that others are taking what you have to say seriously so maybe they should too.
- Honesty – in a world of Bernie Madoffs and politicians, people are hungry for honesty and if you can show you're honest on your blog, people will give.
These are just a few of the ways to set the perfect conditions for giving. This is by no means an exhaustive list. There's still a lot to be explored.