Imagine you’re at a party. There are plenty of new people you could meet and talk to.

There’s a guy talking himself up. You know—all the work he has to do; his accomplishments; how great everyone thinks he is... Then there’s the person who’s talking about all the things you care about—how important those things are; why they need attention; and an opportunity to unite with others to do them justice...

Who are you going to listen to?

Our relationship with organizations is not unlike our relationship with people. We see personality. We warm to some and not others. We tune in to some and not others...

In the rush to impress our supporters and ‘stand out’, it’s easy to forget that our relationship with them is personal. It’s a relationship that has two sides. Consider how language has the power to transform your supporter from ‘bystander’ into ‘changemaker’.

It’s the difference between:

We have an unparalleled track record. Our team is uniquely dedicated, experienced, and ready to meet this challenge head on. Will you support our critical work?


You’ve already helped us achieve things that others dismissed as ‘impossible’. With you by our side, we will take on this challenge, too—and win. Are you in?

It’s less about what you say, and more about how you say it.

I see a lot of big-noting appeals and calls-to-action. Goodness—I’m even guilty of writing them. But now I choose to remember ‘that guy’ at the party. By placing your supporter at the heart of change stories you can increase conversion rates and build long term rapport. Also, your supporter will feel amazing.

Win. Win. Win.

So keep talking about all the great things you’ve achieved; and the need for ongoing support. But if you want more people to listen, find ways to put your mission first and make your supporter the ‘hero’.

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Karen Nilsen

Hi there! I’m Karen. I’m on a mission to reach my former self. Had I known 10 years ago what I know today, I could have achieved more good, made fewer mistakes, and had more weekends. Every time we share what works, we win faster. Let’s create digital experiences that move people — that grow our base and fuel our movements. Are you with me? Please share this with someone you know who wants to up their digital game!

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