Tips for crafting a strong call-to-action message

A strong call to action message can help nonprofit fundraising efforts tremendously.
Date Published
03/09/2015

Nonprofit fundraising seems like a never-ending task. When one campaign ends it quickly becomes time to begin crafting the next. Without this critical activity, many 501(c)(3) organizations would find it difficult to stay afloat. The support of constituents is the lifeblood of any charitable organization.

However, it may be worth identifying the most critical component of an effective nonprofit fundraising campaign. There may be several different viewpoints on this. The simplest and likely the easiest answer is to create a strong call to action message. This is simply a phrase that encourages people to act on what it is they’ve just seen or heard.

Without a powerful CTA, raising money can be an overwhelming challenge for nonprofits. Here are few helpful suggestions on how to write strong CTAs that generate successful outcomes on a consistent basis:

  1. Start with a command: When it comes to marketing, the best way to get people to do something is to tell them. This may sound overly simplistic, but this is one of the very reasons why CTAs even exist. Non-Profit 2.0 wrote that one of the keys to crafting an effective CTA is to begin with a command verb that encourages people to take action. It’s important to let audiences know what it is that you want them to do so that they will proceed to the next steps. Leaving it to their own volition may not generate the most positive results.
  2. Maintain high visibility: If a potential constituent can’t see a CTA, then they will be less likely to move in the desired direction of the nonprofit. This is especially critical when asking for donations. The Marketing Tech Blog wrote that a CTA should be crafted in such a way that it makes it hard for constituents to miss. Regardless of where a nonprofit decides on placement, the message itself should be set up in a way that contributors will be able to see it all times.
  3. Present a reason for supporters to donate: People give to charitable organizations for many reasons. However, before a constituent donates to a charity, he or she must be compelled to do so. For nonprofits, using an image of an individual or group in need, or showing off the progress of a particular project, can both be good motivating factors to drive donations. People who give to nonprofits like to see where their money goes and what it is being used for.
  4. The simpler, the better: CTAs shouldn’t be too wordy or complex in nature. They should communicate clearly and effectively the outcome that the nonprofit would like to achieve. Whether the message is asking for money or people to volunteer their time, the goals that a charitable organization wants to accomplish should be clearly spelled out in the CTA.
  5. Tap into emotions: Most people donate to charities, not out of obligation, but from a willingness to help. As such, CTA messages would benefit from being crafted with words that tap into the emotional state of constituents. This can be done to generate a feeling of excitement or the need to lend a helping hand. Whatever the case, using words or phrases that generate an emotional response is a wise strategy.

There are other ways to improve CTAs when it comes to nonprofit fundraising. However, the most important word in CTA is “action.” This means that any messaging should make the person reading or viewing it compelled to do something. If this doesn’t occur, then organizations will need to rethink the effectiveness of their CTA strategies.

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