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How to Compel Others to Give

January 5, 2011, 12:00 AM

Raising money from people who are passionate about a particular cause is easy, but how do you convince those who have no connection to an issue to give their time and money? Edward Norton offers Big Think some tips, based on his own experiences as a fundraiser and entrepreneur:

1) Leverage Relationships: The best and most basic way to get people to give is to ask them to support you more so than the cause itself, says Norton. "Essentially, you are saying, 'Here's something I care about; will you back me?'" This is often more compelling than, "Will you back this cause?"

2) Don't Patronize: "You’re not going to get people by scolding them or trying to seem like you’re a better person ethically because you do X, Y and Z," says Norton. "'Should' is not a particularly great driver."

3) Make It Cool: "Ask yourself, 'What is fun about this? What’s going to make it more interesting than another weekend watching TiVo,'" Norton advises. "You want your fundraiser to seem like an adventure that they want to take part in. You want it to be an invitation to participate in something that’s as good as going out for paintball with your friends on the weekend."

4) Target Individuals' Skills: "It’s good to target people for what they’re already good at," says Norton. "You want to somehow connect people to the idea that they have a skill set that they can contribute. You want to go to certain groups of people and say, "We can really use you because you are really good at X, so bring that over into this effort.'"

And check out the Crowdrise website for more easy and helpful fundraising ideas...


How to Compel Others to Give

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