What would you say if you had sixty seconds to share why a good acquaintance should join a cause you are supporting? Would you talk about the benefits of being a supporter, the impact to those who receive the services, the problems solved, or the emotional feeling of serving with purpose? Do you have numbers prepared to demonstrate impact, a story that amplifies the organization’s work, or a pitch about how essential your friend’s role would be in the cause?
In my experience, there is no perfect persuasion. I have been told that for every hour of my service, there is a higher likelihood that another individual will obtain greater health/education/safety/higher earnings. I have been told that every dollar I commit will be doubled or exponentially matched. I have been told that this group needs my talents and is ready to launch. I have been told stories that the storyteller cannot finish because they get choked up. I have been shown charts and graphs that make an essential case for support.
Sometimes I say yes; sometimes, I say no. It may be about the enterprise; it may be about me; it may be about my affinity for the asker or the individuals being served. It may be the level of commitment demonstrated by the board and staff. I have attended meetings thinking I am committed to saying yes, and the request to enroll significantly concerned me. I have attended meetings as a courtesy with no intention of signing up and found myself completely embedded in the work that matters.
Sixty seconds and no certainty that our request to join the cause will resonate. But if we believe, we ask and are comfortable with the results. What if we ask authentically and celebrate an convincing answer?