There should be a human element to your mission; however, sometimes the cause you support is not the most “sexy” of causes. I truly feel for groups that support really wonky public policy initiatives. Being able to put a face on your cause makes things so much easier when it comes to the donate ask. So, when you are advocating for high-level talks at the United Nations on global health policy – believe me sister, I’ve been there and it ain’t easy. I understand how difficult it is to bring attention to your cause when you aren’t dealing with kids or dogs. It’s hard when there is not an easy mission the general public can identify with. Here’s where Alyssa Milano comes in.
Tugging at heartstrings is what nonprofits should do at the end of the year, but I wonder a bit. Where is that sweet spot between an emotional response to donate and guilting people to make it go away. I just caught the following commercial for UNICEF featuring Alyssa Milano, a UNICEF Ambassador. Maybe it’s because the commercial was 2 full minutes long, but by the end I wanted to crawl in a corner and rock back and forth.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baZsBxw3R7Y&w=640&h=480]
UNICEF is a fantastic organization that helps on many fronts including sanitation, emergency relief and water. Why aren’t they filming pictures of latrines instead of hungry children in the streets? I think you can understand why.
Animal lovers: Who could forget the sob-evoking appeal for the ASPCA from Sarah Mclachlan featuring her song “Angel” Dear God! I still cry when I see this – 7 years later! This campaign is 7 years old and yet it still moves people to donate. That is some serious ROI![youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gspElv1yvc&w=640&h=480]Should non-profits care about how hard they pull on your heartstrings if it results in a donation? Does it lead to donor burn out? Tell me your thoughts. How far should these campaigns go to drive home their point?