The magic grammar trick that works in fundraising

Remember this goofy TV spot for Old Spice? The best thing about it is something most people won’t quite notice:

Or watch it here on YouTube.

Roy H. Williams, in his MondayMorningMemo, Swim to Kansas praises this spot for the script. Specifically for its use of the imperative voice — it’s steady stream of “commands”: Look at your man. Now back to me. Now back at your man. Now back to me.

When you want people to do something, the best approach is to tell them to do it.

I hope you’re saying Duh.

But all too often in fundraising, we never get around to actually telling them to do what we want them to do: Write a check. Pick up the phone. Visit us on the web. Give now.

Telling people to do something doesn’t force them to do it. But it helps to be clear an unambiguous.

The imperative voice gets attention. Use it.

(This post first appeared on April 9, 2010.)


Comments

Leave a Reply

What this blog is about

The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

Blog policies

Subscribe

Get new posts by email:

About the blogger

Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


Archives

Blogroll

Categories


Search the blog

The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

Recent Comments

About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

Blog Roll

someone’s blog