Our society is living through one of the biggest shifts since the industrial revolution. For brands and nonprofits, this has forced us to rethink the way we engage our audience and motivate people to act. Gone are the days of earning attention through mass advertising. Pushing our message onto people doesn’t work anymore. It’s simply an interruption.
So how can your nonprofit make the shift from “pushing” your message and interrupting your audience to “pulling” them into deeper engagement with your cause?
A few weeks ago, Pursuant CEO Trent Ricker shared some great thoughts around the advent of zen marketing for nonprofits with the Stanford Social Innovation Review. In the post, Trent highlighted ten simple ways nonprofits can begin to make the shift from “pushing” to “pulling.”
10 Ways to Shift from “Pushing” a Message to “Pulling” People Into the Cause
If you want to align your strategy with the needs and expectations of the people you want to reach, engage, and empower to change the world, here are 10 ideas to consider:
- Listen more than you talk.
- Be active regularly and consistently.
- Respond to the comments, questions, and interactions from others when they’re directed to you.
- Share relevant information that is consistent with the needs, obstacles, and questions of the people you want to reach.
- Do more than just hire an intern with a Facebook page, and then expect that person to merge organizational and fundraising strategy with his or her personal social media habits.
- Appreciate channels for what they are; flex the unique muscles of each one.
- Always shoot for effectiveness, not efficiency. Relationships aren’t efficient—they are mandatory for building capacity to advance your mission.
- Be patient. Let the other person move at his or her own pace.
- Prompt for a specific transaction (or ask) much less often than you desire a response.
- Promote and give credit to others for great ideas and exciting results.
While “interrupting” your donors might work for a second, it’s not the kind of strategy that leads to long-term fundraising success. That is only accomplished through “pulling” people into our cause. This is not an emerging trend; it’s happening now.
If your goal is to create noise and interrupt your audience, focus on pushing. If you are present and listen actively, you’ll be there to guide and point them toward a path of meaning and significance.