We all strive for it – the “wow factor,” or that certain je ne sais quoi that grabs people’s attention and entices them to want to know more. But being a head-turner requires effort. We must carefully plan our approach, from outfit to entrance, to ensure that we’re noticed. After all, impressions are formed and relationships spark at the turn of a head. And it’s part of our culture. We’re programmed to pay attention to the people and things that stop us in our tracks and evoke an emotional response.

When focusing on new donor acquisition online, your approach to getting the attention of potential supporters has to be equally thoughtful and provoking.

Like dating, you have to begin by turning heads. Just as you can’t expect that the love of your life will happen upon your doorstep while you’re sitting home alone watching reruns of Seinfeld, you can’t expect to grow your supporter base by assuming that prospects will stumble around the Internet and find your website. You have to take the initiative, iron a shirt or fluff your hair, and put yourself out there.

But before you run out the door or start posting new content on your blog every hour, think about the message you want to send. You want to put out messages that captivate, resonate, and then inspire action.

What’s the point of turning a head if there’s no follow up?

Consider these three tips:

1. Create Content With Purpose:

Think about what gets you up every morning and motivates you to go to work. Why do you do what you do? Why does your organization’s mission inspire you? Why should others join your cause? Write about it. Create a short video about it. Take Pictures. Most importantly, start conversations with your supporters and get them talking to their networks about it.

Humane Society of the United States does a fantastic job of using social media to build awareness and start conversations (I mean, just check out their RTs)

What you do matters and it’s important to start conversations that speak to the significance of what you do, why you do it, and encourages others to join you.

2. Don’t Be Afraid To Do Something Different:

Take a few steps to the left. A few more. See your box, your comfort zone, sitting to the right of you? Kick it. Get rid of it. If you’re going to inspire double-takes, you’re going to have to do your thinking outside of that box.

Take the Follow the Frog video by Rainforest Alliance, for example – it’s genius (and hilarious), and it demands viewers’ attention.

Send out a message that demands attention. Believe that you deserve it.

3. Talk About Impact:

If you want to turn heads and drop jaws, begin talking about the change you’re inspiring in your community or on a global level.

Is your organization feeding more people than ever before? Did your event raise $1M more this year for cancer research? What does the impact of your mission look like? What are the stories of your beneficiaries? See how International Justice Mission is doing this by updating their website with numbers and personal stories:

People want to be involved in things that are progressive. Donors want to know that their support means something, and it’s your job to craft the messages and tell stories that do your mission’s impact justice.

And remember:

This is the age of smart phones and tablets, instant gratification, and online dating. If you want to get noticed in the digital world, you can’t leave it up to chance. You have to create content with messages that quickly resonate and inspire action. Build a presence on social media. Tell stories. Don’t be afraid to do something different.

Put yourself out there.

Your soul mates are waiting.

For more advice on acquiring new donors online, check out the latest npEXPERTS eBook!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Madeline Turner is the Online and Social Marketing Manager at Blackbaud. Prior to running Blackbaud’s social media and thought leadership blog npENGAGE, Madeline worked as a Managing Editor for Blackbaud’s Content Marketing program. It is her goal to create content and share ideas that challenge the status quo of the nonprofit industry. When Madeline isn’t tweeting or writing blog posts, you can find her drinking coffee out of her ‘Crazy Cat Lady’ mug, wearing giant headphones and singing off-key.

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