My husband and I attended my son’s Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet earlier this week. At the end of the banquet, a representative from the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America made a pitch for supporting the Boy Scouts with a financial gift. She did a nice job but what really convinced me was the brochure she handed out, which said:
For every 100 youth who join scouting
- 1 will use his Scouting skills to save a life
- 1 will use his Scouting skills to save his own life
- 18 will develop hobbies that will last throughout their adult life
- and on and on
Who are Boy Scouts?
- 72% of Rhodes Scholars
- 65% of the US Congress
- 65% of male college graduates
- 26 of the first 29 astronauts were Boy Scouts
- and on and on
Wow. With statistics like that, I’m keeping my son in Boy Scouts forever and I’m giving them money every year!
Here’s another compelling statistic I heard recently. I’m a member of Vistage, which is a membership organization for CEOs. Vistage says that their member companies consistently outperform non-member companies. Based on the coaching and resources I get from Vistage, I believe it. Vistage is a big commitment of time and money, but totally worth it.
How about you? What compelling statistics or facts can you share with your prospects to make them join your organization, become a customer or donate money?
- If you’re an accrediting body, can you point to the top organizations that are accredited and how accredited companies have better safety/graduation/success rates?
- If you’re a trade association, can you point to the top companies in the field that are members, your legislative record, and the success rate of your companies?
- If you’re a professional society, can you point to the job rate and salary levels of your members, your contributions to the profession, and your profession’s rank as a top career?
- If you’re a charity, can you point to your success in changing systemic problems?
In thinking again about the Boy Scouts, what was effective about the pitch was this: I wasn’t being sold on the activities of the Boy Scouts, I was being sold on the outcome. The message was clear: Enroll your son in Boy Scouts and this is what he can become. I’m sold.
2 replies on “Give Me a Reason To Give or Join”
Thanks Joanna for such a great and inspiring blog post. And, I agree with you, statistics can really sell your organization. The timing of this blog post is ironic as well (at least for me). Just a couple of weeks ago, the executive director of an organization that I serve as a volunteer with, as well as on several committees, wanted to run an idea for a collateral piece by me that she hopes to distribute at an upcoming event. The call to action, of course was donate.” She ran her vision for the postcard, i.e., the postcard would be to include photographs of kids with a call to action to donate. My immediate reaction to this was, “You need a compelling statistic to grab their attention like “XX of at-risk kids who participate in reading programs will ….” As we closed our conversation, she really appreciated my perspective and said that it really helped with the vision of the piece.
As you said, statistics can help bring the message home especially if you are an organization trying to bring on new members and supports or encouraging donations.
The key thing to remember is that audiences are constantly being bombarded with pleas for donations. What really appealed to Joanna is, as a mom, how will the boy scouts help my son go through life? You need to be aware of who you are targeting with your message, figure out what is meaningful to them personally, hit them with compelling content/persuasive statistics, etc., and how to present that in an engaging way. Then they will donate.
The other point here is that it was done in an aspirational way. Its not just an appeal to the heartstrings, or showing dire photos of populations in need. What was effective for the Boy Scouts in this instance, and in most successful marketing, is to show how your donation dollars will improve someone’s life, including maybe even your own.