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Working in the voluntary sector
Working in the voluntary sector

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6 Persuading people to take action

A photo of people sitting around a table with laptops and tablets
Figure 6 Social media can be powerful in marketing voluntary organisations

There are a number of other useful techniques that can help create the desire to act and to take action.

Sell benefits, not features

Detergent marketers all understand that people do not buy detergent because they want detergent. What they want is clean clothes. In other words, it is the results you are offering to achieve, rather than how you achieve them, that will interest your audience.

For a cancer research charity, for example, many donors are unlikely to be interested in the precise details of the medical research they are funding. They want to know that their donation is advancing the search for a cure, or at least some alleviation of the distress associated with the disease. If you are asking for a donation or support, let people know what it is that will be achieved with their help.

Include a ‘call to action’

People’s time and attention are limited. Having attracted their attention, stimulated their interest and aroused their desire, you need to finish the job by asking them to take action. The ‘call to action’ reflects the urgency of your cause. The secret is to make it as easy as possible for them to respond, so that the sense of urgency is not lost and you get the response you want. Donating by text or supporting campaigns via Facebook or Twitter is a common call to action used by many organisations and is quick to do.