The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

The Time-Ask Effect Strikes Again

The wonderful Jennifer Aaker, co-author of the Dragonfly Effect, has long written about the “time-ask effect” — namely, the idea that when people are asked to give their time, they think in terms of emotional fulfillment: will volunteering for this charity make me happy? When hit up for money, they start thinking about sacrifice: will making a donation be something I can afford? Aaker believes asking for time first triggers an emotional connection that later prompts more giving.

There’s plenty of research to back her up – including a research from Blackbaud today. It cites studies showing advocates are seven times more likely to donate to a cause.

It specifically advocates for advocacy — and asking people to take action for something top-of-mind in the news. Those supporters will later be more likely to donate to your cause. Salespeople call this foot-in-the-door technique. Psychologists calls it momentum of compliance. You could also call it relationship-building.

Here is the take from Blackbaud and Care2:

[Find] the “issue du jour” – a relevant and timely news item that compels constituents to act and give immediately. Using this and other methods, any organization can build an advocacy program that organically leads to a more-effective fundraising effort.

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About This Blog

Linda Lombardi
Content Manager

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

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