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Improve Fundraising Copy by Adding Urgency

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Convey Urgency. Nearly 50% selected “conveying urgency&# as the most difficult of these four tasks. question in your supporters’ heads by conveying a sense of urgency. You can create this urgency in several ways.

Does Your Fundraising Depend Upon Urgency?

The Agitator

Most fundraisers have been brought up to stress urgency, urgency, more urgency. In the old days of printed newspapers, weekly newsmagazines and network nightly news, ‘urgency’ might actually been something reserved for special events and rare occasions. How many people will die, be imprisoned or tortured, sleep on the street, go without water or food, be denied (something, anything) … if you don’t RESPOND TODAY ?

How to Create a Sense of Urgency for Your Nonprofit Message

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But it also helps to have a sense of urgency. Here are five simple tactics for building a sense of urgency in your next fundraising appeal, advocacy campaign or membership drive. It creates tremendous urgency. If you don't have a campaign planned, think of how you can leverage seasonal or current events to help create a sense of urgency. Nonprofit marketing and fundraising is about motivating people to do something specific - not just to think about your cause.

If you don’t read this right now, you’ll miss out!


After reading that headline, did you feel a sense of urgency? In other words, they aim their scarcity approaches at premium prospects and supporters (major and legacy gift prospects) while providing them with value, exclusivity, and urgency. Urgency is the key here. Sorry to trick you but I wanted you to see what it felt like when scarcity is employed in marketing. Perceived scarcity generates demand because we are hardwired to be loss averse.

Now or never: When you want - and don’t want - urgency in marketing

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

When I speak about compelling people to action, I keep coming back to the principle of urgency. It’s one thing to get someone to want to do something—it’s quite another to get someone to do something, now. Some new research suggests one context when it’s perhaps best to make your issue sound far into the future - and far from urgent: when you are trying to get people to do something they’re likely to resist. Inside Influence report says.

REPEAT: 31 Phrases To Use in Email Lift Notes, Resends and Reminders

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Write a SHORT, SIMPLE lift note explaining the resend and adding urgency (see the list below for inspiration). Photo Credit: p/79pL7r. Want to squeeze more mileage from a great fundraising or advocacy email? Send it again.

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You Still Have Time to Try These 7 Giving Tuesday Tactics 

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

It’s a start – resend your morning email with a lift note that conveys urgency and updates supporters how the campaign is doing. Giving Tuesday is 12 days away. Are you ready?

6 Overlooked Ingredients Your Year-End Emails Need

Fundraising 123

A sense of urgency. A sense of urgency will give your donors that extra nudge they need to take action. When creating your year-end email appeals, remember these six key ingredients: 1. An easy to find donation button. Some donors will be ready to give as soon as they open your nonprofit email. Don''t make them hunt for the link to your DonateNow page. Make the donate button big, bold, and above the fold. A specific call to action.

Brick wall redux: Practical tips for leading change

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Today, I finished reading John Kotter’s book, A Sense of Urgency *. What I learned was complacency and “false urgency” are the biggest barriers to getting things done. False urgency by contrast comes from failure. True urgency, on the other hand, is a very good thing. Behave with urgency every day: Don’t be content - or anxious. Show the real sense of urgency - fire in the belly for a worthy and clear aim.

Reach Out during Crises: w/Recognition, Respect & Sensitivity

Getting Attention

Emphasize that the recent crises highlights the need for change (and donations or advocacy) and increases the urgency of your call to action. How can our orgs communicate effectively in the middle of two huge crises — 1) police brutality and misconduct in Baltimore, spurring active response by community members fighting for their rights and lives; and 2) Nepal’s crushing earthquake, and the millions whose lives will be impacted for years to come?

The 5 Most Dangerous Donation Page Mistakes & How You Can Fix Them

Wild Woman Fundraising

the urgency of the need/aka what happens if you don’t get their donation. What about an urgency that goes with the picture? Last week I went to London to speak at the Institute of Fundraising’s National Fundraising Convention.

Cable News Fundraisers

The Agitator

Tom’s Does Your Fundraising Depend on Urgency posted last week would suggest so. Is there a similarity between cable news and the way some nonprofits operate? In Cable News Seth Godin wonders: “What if the fear and maiaise and anger isn’t merely being reported by cable news… “What if it’s being caused by cable news?” Last January in Better or Worse World ?

No Going Back for This Nonprofit After Switching to a Digital Annual Report

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Being able to edit a digital edition at any time puts a little less urgency on developing content. Sick of me telling you to get rid of your long printed annual reports? Well, I’ll stop when you stop.

Five ways to get people to act now

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

But it also helps to have a sense of urgency. Here are five ways to build that sense of urgency. It creates tremendous urgency. My mentor, Bill Novelli, once said to me, “If we’re simply in the business of ‘building awareness,’ we might as well be shoveling pamphlets out of airplanes.” The point is, nonprofit marketing (and fundraising) is about motivating people to do something - not just think something. Channel attention into action if you want to change the world.

Still-Time Summer Marketing Sizzlers

Getting Attention

And they adjust how they cultivate a sense of urgency during the lazy days of summer. —Lauren Giradin, Marketing and Communications Consultant. Part 1. Dig in a.s.a.p.

Top 10 reasons major and planned gift officers fail to generate results


Lack of urgency. # Too much rapport building (not enough alignment of organizational needs with donor passions and interests). # Talking too much; listening too little (“ show up and throw up fundraising “). #

The 4 T’s of Amazing Fundraising Appeals

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Here’s how they add up to a better message that works: Timely: Your appeal needs to have a sense of urgency to move donors to act now.

7 things about email subject lines that will help you save the world


” Don’t be afraid to use urgency words like “important,” “hurry,” or “today.” Firstly, email subject lines are actually headlines.

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Let’s Be Fearless Communicators

Getting Attention

Let Urgency Conquer Fear: With today’s 24/7 new cycle, this may be the most important and relevant aspect of being fearless.

4 ways to get more clicks on your Donate button

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Create a sense of urgency for donating by creating a campaign with a goal and deadline, matching grant, or appeal for specific items or programs that are highly tangible. Make your Donate button easier to find. Don’t make donors search or scroll! Make the reasons to give more enticing. Your financial needs are not enough. Create an appeal around the button that is focused on donors, their interests, and what they get in return for their donation.

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Stop the Communications-Program Tug of War

Getting Attention

If a request for an email had all the required ingredients for strong performance (urgency, relevance, emotion, etc.), Are you in a tug of war with program colleagues for control of your communications?

Year-End Fundraising Resources for You

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Create urgency in your fundraising posts. Yep, it’s that time of year already. Year-End Fundraising Season. But you aren’t going to wait til the last minute to plan your campaigns this year. This year, you will have all your ducks in a row before you flip the calendar to November.

Using Psychology To Fundraise

The Agitator

Sense of urgency — no explanation required. Back in January I noted an article by Claire Axelrad — 9 Valuable Shortcuts to Influence Nonprofit Donors — in which she described how to use some proven precepts of persuasion psychology to improve your fundraising prowess. Here’s another go at the same theme … this time 15 ways psychology can boost commerce sales from ClickZ provides the tips … with illustrations of each approach at work.

Reader Questions: Does adding extra stuff your appeal mailing work?

Wild Woman Fundraising

You might want to include this when there’s an emergency or urgency around your appeal, like all of your arts funding is being cut from the government, or something.

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How the Fundraising Game Has Changed Forever

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

For fundraising and development professionals, this reform can mean less stress and urgency chasing down private donations and grants to fill in the large gaps left unfunded by governments. (Editor’s note: Today’s post comes from our friends at the National Council of Nonprofits.

How to make your donors twice as generous

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

It combined a match concept with peer pressure and urgency: “If 75% of donors who see this message upgrade to a recurring donation today, we’ll match all of their donations.”. I’m a big believer in the positive effects of peer pressure (here’s one article on it ). Global Giving has proved this again - in an intriguing experiment focused on recurring giving.

What your year-end appeal is missing

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

While it’s definitely important to remember the key components of an effective fundraising appeal (a clear call to action, a sense of urgency, statements about what a donation will do), what will make your appeal really stand out is an attention-grabbing, emotionally compelling, authentic story. Here at Network for Good, it’s the season for fundraising appeal reviews.

The Next Big Thing in Fundraising: Emoji Appeals

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Bonus points for the sense of urgency: Want to give back to your local education group? We all know that mobile technology is changing the way we communicate, work, and give.

Does Slacktivism Actually Work?


One camp argues that the messaging around a cause and the urgency of an organization’s ask can be diluted by the rapid, superficial spread of marketing content.

Social Media Takeovers: 6 Nonprofits That Gave It Up for Good (PLUS: 6 Tips for Getting it Right)

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

It’s the ephemeralness of a takeover that helps give it urgency and energy. Image Source: p/dzN6Vp. Would you hand over the keys to your nonprofit’s Twitter or Instagram account to a volunteer, partner, artist or celebrity? .

5 ways you could be fearless

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

5) Let Urgency Conquer Fear. The older I get, the more I’m convinced that most of what stands in the way of big change or great work is fear. You can track back almost all small thinking to being afraid of something—failure, rejection, ostracism, you name it.

The Secret Isn’t in the Sauce


Let urgency conquer fear. It’s time to take off your floaties and do more than follow your passion. If you’re trying to figure out what career to pursue or how to make the biggest difference in this world, you’re going to be searching for a long time.

Inspire With Video

The Agitator

For many reasons … creativity, often humor, delivery of raw emotion, ‘gotta see it’ urgency, connection. Speaking from a fundraising perspective, I love online videos.

Must Not Sleep! Must Warn Others! And other tips from fundraising hip hopistas

Wild Woman Fundraising

How do you communicate this urgency? So as I write another blog post at midnight, I’m reminded “Must Not Sleep! Must Warn Others!&#. Let me explain.

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Negative Versus Positive Framing

The Agitator

Threat, urgency and danger might succeed best (i.e., Think about it … we’d all rather hang around positive — versus negative — people. So why wouldn’t that apply to a nonprofit that’s looking to establish a donor relationship with you or me? Why would you expect a continuing barrage of negative, downer messages to make a donor look forward to your ‘visits’?! That’s the message delivered by this brief article — What Works Best?

Rewriting an Appeal Letter : Cut out the Gangrene

Wild Woman Fundraising

There is no urgency in this letter. ” The urgency comes from what happens when the Ohio Economic Forum is NOT there. THAT creates urgency. Today we’re going to do a little medical clinic on this appeal letter. First, let’s cut out the gangrene.

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The three signs of social media hysteria - and how to avoid them

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Stage 1: Urgency. According to a new report from Fenton on social media ( download here after noon ET), there are several stages to what I would call social media hysteria. As in, “Everyone’s doing it. We need to do be doing it. Set up a Facebook page. And start tweeting!”.

Two things it’s easy to forget with social media

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

In the reactive, fast-moving, turbulent world of social media, it’s easy to be swept up with a sense of false urgency. Yet two of the most valuable things you can do involve slowing down: 1. Pausing to think. Before you run off to spend time on a channel, you want to figure out WHO you’re trying to reach online, WHERE they are, and HOW to best communicate with them. A little intentionality now saves oodles of lost time later. 2 Stopping to listen. Really listen.

10% Battery Life

A Small Change

I mean, there is always urgency in the fundraising game and getting our batteries charged just doesn’t always seem like a priority. I recently saw Big Hero 6 with my daughter at her school’s movie night. It was awesome.

Did people give on #GivingTuesday?

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

A sense of urgency: Naming a day after giving and urging action that particular day seems to have worked for many charities. Since I work at Network for Good , I have access to all kinds of nifty data on giving. We process donations for tens of thousands of nonprofits via their websites and partners like Crowdrise and YourCause.