Great Causes Don’t Compel Gifts. Great Asks Do.


Saving lives. Nothing more compelling or worthy a cause. And the video they made – about the true story of a father missing his son’s birthday to save the life of a young girl in a car accident – I’m welling up. Really. Oh man, this is a home run video! I can’t keep making these $18 donations! Then comes the ask. How could I not give???

Then comes the build up to the ask at 2:50 on the video. “They volunteer their time for you!” … “Thousands of heroes save lives everyday…” “Support United Hatzalah Today!”

And, I close it out, feeling fine to go on with the rest of my day. How’s that?

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Push me, and I pull the other way. “They” – have cast themselves and then the donor as the other. United Hatzalah became “They” NOT “us.” I can close my window thinking about them and how much wonderful good they do. Keep up the great work, heroes! They can do anything, and for sure all those people they’ve helped will step up and donate.

Whoops. The narrator missed the opportunity to turn this into a ‘We’ – “We can’t do it without YOU.” Bring the audience into the picture as an active player: without the audience¬† no amazing story would ever be heard. Invite them in, show them how important their active role is. Any tries to redraft¬†how that last segment could have been reframed to move the audience into the story?