We’re subjected to anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000 advertising messages per day, depending on which source you choose to believe.

One thing’s for sure: it’s not easy for charities and non-profits to cut through all the noise and get people to take action.

When we see similar messages too many times, there can be a tendency to zone out. I want to look at this in the context of fundraising calls to action.

There’s nothing wrong with “Donate Now” as it’s clear and creates urgency. However, when everyone’s using the same CTA, here are three reasons you may want to rethink yours.

To communicate a transformation

Rather than being a straightforward ask, your call to action could be more descriptive. People want to know their donations are going to make a positive difference.

For example, if you’re a charity that provides life-changing eye surgery in Africa, your call to action could be “Help Mary see her son”.

It’s more emotive and describes a clear outcome.

Because I reckon you should

There’s lots of research showing how powerful it is to give people a reason to do something. And it doesn’t always need to be a good reason.

Using “because” is proven to influence people’s behaviour.

You could combine this psychological principle with your current approach, e.g. “Donate now because Mary’s sight matters”.

To find out if there’s a better way

Even if you’ve always used the same calls to action successfully, that doesn’t mean there’s not another style that could perform even better.

I’m not suggesting changing your CTAs overnight, but you can certainly test the waters on social media to see what works best.

For example, you could put the same post out on the same day and time two weeks in a row, with only the call to action being different.


If you liked this article, you might want to read more about using the Identifiable Victim Effect in your charity fundraising.

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