Attraction or Persuasion?
May 19, 2023
Kevin Schulman, Founder, DonorVoice and DVCanvass
Is your fundraising persuading or attracting?
- Persuasion is convincing potential donors to contribute to your cause, often through emotive appeals and urgent calls to action.
- Attraction is aligning with donors’ existing values and passions and fostering organic support.
Persuasion aims to align a donor’s perspective with the cause, attraction aligns the cause with the existing interests of the donor.
Which would you prefer your fundraising do?
Attraction is either easier or harder. Harder if you’re primarily persuading now – process borne of habits die hard. But it’s all but impossible if you’re not motivated to change approaches.
Speaking of motivation, every action occurs because of it but not all motivation is created equal. Actions often happen because we see the light or feel the heat, positive, internal realization or external discomfort.
That high quality motivation is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s the moth to the light, attraction at its core.
Here’s the kicker, that quality motivation is either fostered and fed with your marketing or starved.
The key to feeding that internal flame of high-quality motivation is leaving a donor feeling in control (autonomy), effective (competence) and connected to the cause (relatedness).
Matching your message to their values is Attraction 101 and it can check all three boxes – autonomy, competence and relatedness.
Here’s an ad test we ran putting an Identity ad with no premium against the premium control ad. The copy in our ad is not random.
We know those who identify as duck hunters,
- Believe they have knowledge – Competence message
- Friendships from hunting – Relatedness message
- Control over their decision to hunt – Autonomy message. There are lots of people who haven’t hunted in years who strongly identify as such and plenty who hunted last week who don’t.
It’s hard to beat a premium on front-end, initial conversion. This at least tied it.
And we didn’t create external persuasion with premiums, which tend to undermine the intrinsic flame.
By focusing on attracting donors through shared values and interests, you’re not just raising funds. You’re building a passionate community, and it’s this community that is likely to offer sustainable support, underpinning the longevity and success of your cause.