marketing mission Blog

The Art of the 'Ask': Making Your Nonprofit Appeal Resonate

January 26, 2024

marketing mission Blog

The Art of the 'Ask': Making Your Nonprofit Appeal Resonate

January 26, 2024

The Art of the 'Ask': Making Your Nonprofit Appeal Resonate

Crafting an effective “ask” is critical for nonprofit organizations looking to connect with donors and drive fundraising success. And when it comes to making this “ask” during nonprofit fundraising events, what you say and how you say it can make all the difference. In today’s competitive market, finding ways to make your appeal stand out and motivate supporters to take action is key. After working on several inspirational events lately, we’ve witnessed some extremely effective tactics to share. In this blog, we’ll explore some impactful tactics and examples to consider when developing your next nonprofit fundraising campaign or event appeal.

Beyond the Ordinary: Fresh Approaches to Nonprofit Fundraising

We’ve recently collaborated on several fundraising events that featured some highly effective and outside-the-box asks. From emotional videos to lively audience engagement, their tactics offer valuable lessons for bringing your mission to life.

Visual Storytelling: A Glimpse into Real Impact with Legal Foundation of Washington

The Legal Foundation of Washington created an immersive video experience during their in-person event. By incorporating touching footage of real people they’ve helped, donors got a first-hand look at their services. This raw, transparent view of their work resonated deeply, resulting in over $390,000 raised.

Harnessing Celebrity Power for a Noble Cause - Children of Armenia Fund

Rather than a standard speech, the Children of Armenia Fund featured a powerful video with celebrity endorsers like Cher and George Clooney. These famous advocates explained why they passionately support the cause. Their star power and sincere enthusiasm helped raise $4.5 million.

The Residency - Raise the Paddle

To liven up their fundraising event, The Residency organized an interactive “Raise the Paddle” appeal. As attendees saw peers enthusiastically contributing in real time, they were compelled to join in. This sense of communal participation energized the room, raising over $345,000.

Corporate Giants Unite: A Unique Partnership for Change - Housing Development Consortium

In a first-of-its-kind partnership, corporate giants Amazon and Microsoft collaborated on an appeal video for the Housing Development Consortium. Their combined credibility and resources captured attention, raising $235,000. This demonstrated the potential of cross-sector collaboration.

Voices Unite for Change - TeenTix

Instead of talking at attendees, TeenTix compiled a video featuring students, staff, and board sharing why the organization’s work matters. This diversity of voices and perspectives made the appeal relatable and inclusive, resonating deeply enough to raise $45,000.

From Creativity to Authenticity: Lessons from Successful Appeals

While the examples above incorporated creative mediums and approaches, their success stemmed from authenticity above all else. By transparently showcasing their mission and community, they inspired donors to join the cause beyond simply raising money.

Some best practices to apply to your next nonprofit fundraising ask include:

  • Use compelling videos and visuals to connect on an emotional level
  • Strategically incorporate celebrity affiliates or influencers when possible
  • Make it interactive and communal to build a shared sense of purpose
  • Partner creatively with corporate sponsors for expanded reach
  • Blend perspectives from all levels of your organization and community
  • Focus on transparency, passion, and purpose over flashy gimmicks

Crafting Your Authentic Appeal: Passion Meets Purpose

Great fundraising stems from passion with purpose. While the examples above raised impressive dollar amounts, it was the genuine stories and connections made that truly brought their missions to life. When crafting your next nonprofit “ask,” focus on authenticity and community above all else. The rest will follow.

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