Thursday, March 11, 2010

Will you put your hand up?

I love the concept of hand raising.

In fundraising terms, hand raising is asking people to stick their hand up to do something for a cause they like.

Herein lies the art (and the beauty). By asking people to 'stick their hand up' and show they care, initially that's all we do. Get them to do something really small, almost too easy to do.

Examples have/can include:

- Signing a petition
- Filling in a survey
- Writing a message of hope to someone in need
- Lobby/advocating against a particular issue

In short, you're putting your voice to something you believe in, albeit in a small way to begin with.

Next comes the science.

Warming these wonderful people up, getting them excited about what you, showing them there's much more they can help you with.

And of course, asking them to do something slightly bigger. Ask them for a (financial) gift.

There are loads of examples of this happening around the world. From asking people on the street to sign a petition about action on climate change, to calling someone and asking them to send a note to a prisoner of conscience.

Once 'on board' as a hand raiser, spend the next week reaffirming why they stuck their hand up and then ask them to take the next step by supporting financially (and of course, ask for a monthly gift).

It helps if you're an advocacy group (although you don't have to be) - there is a natural remit to do this stuff anyway. The key is finding real, genuine ways for people to campaign on your behalf, tied in with the need for financial support shortly thereafter.

You can test time in between the first contact to the financial ask, the number of non financial asks before you ask for a gift and the various channels in which to do this.

I love the concept of hand raising because it advances your cause further (get someone to lobby on our behalf), it gives you an opportunity to have several conversations with people, and adds another vehicle to reach out and find new supporters.

I expect we'll see many more examples of this in the coming years.

Are you prepared to put your hand up?


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