The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

The 6 things you must know about the science of persuasion

If you have never read the classic book Influence by Robert Cialdini, you really should. But you’re also in luck, because the Influence at Work team just released this summary of the six principles of persuasion that the book covers. Spend 11 minutes watching this video – it’s well worth your time.

Trouble viewing the video? Go here.

No time to watch? Here’s my summary of the principles and how they apply to us.

1. Reciprocity – People tend to return a favor, thus all those annoying address labels charities send out as a fundraising ploy.

2. Scarcity – Perceived scarcity fuels demand. “Only four memberships are left” prompts action!

3. Authority – People will tend to obey authority figures. What expert can attest to the value of your organization?

4. Consistency – If people commit to an idea or goal, they are more likely to follow through. It’s why pledging is a great option for people who aren’t ready to take action.

5. Liking – People are easily persuaded by other people whom they like. That’s why you want your champions spreading the word about your cause among their friends and family.

6. Consensus – People will do what other people are doing. That’s why it’s great to show who is taking action for your cause – others are likely to conform.

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About This Blog
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Liz Ragland
Senior Associate, Marketing and Content

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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