Lots of people start acting like they care about what you do, decide to follow you on social media, and sign up for your emails. But, when it comes to needing them to actually take action, they disappear. It happens a lot and fundraisers who struggle to encourage followers of their organizations into supporters.
1. Follow initial interest with personal outreach.
After someone shows an initial interest (follows you on social media, joins an email list…ect.), make it a point to reach out to them and offer them an opportunity that enables them to do something more!
2. Let people tell you why they care.
Engagement starts with interest and people want to be able express why they care! So…when you first contact a person after they have expressed interest in your cause, give them a chance to tell you why they care about the cause. Specifically what it means to them, and if they are interested in doing more. This adds that extra push of personal connection that an organization needs!
3. Help them share their interest with others.
Once someone has expressed an interest in your cause and told you why he cares, create an opportunity for them to share their reasons for caring with others. This can be done through social media share buttons…but can also include things like a statement of support or an online guestbook. A great example of this is It’s On Us!.
4. Invite them to take action.
If a person has taken the time to express interest on your site, your next step should be to invite them to take action. You should invite them to do something for a person who is a beneficiary of your cause like donating time, a skill, or a dollar or several. Taking action on behalf of someone starts a process of moving beyond an interest and starting to think about what else they can do to help.
5. Ask them to reach out to others.
If you can get someone to give their time or money to your cause, the next step should be to ask them to reach out to someone they know on your behalf!
Use these 5 steps as many times as you need and start to move potential supporters from having interests to taking actions. This isn’t the “end all-be all” answer to your fundraising, but you’ll find that by focusing on turning interest into action and reaching out to others, you’ll be taking a leap toward building a community of supporters!
Marni Wax is a student in the Journalism school at the University of Iowa. She spends her free time running, listening to music, and enjoying a large cup of coffee while scrolling through social media pages.