Contributed by Dawn Allcot
Do you ever wonder why, in times of tragedy, some people seem to have an army of friends, loved ones and even strangers rushing to support them while others, sadly, struggle alone? No one should ever be alone in a time of crisis. Once you know the secret of how to motivate others, you’ll be able to get the help you and your loved ones may need.
Fortunately, you don’t need a degree in psychology or marketing to learn how to motivate others. You just need to tap into people’s emotions with the right stories and follow it up with clear instructions.
Emotions: The Key to Motivation
Think about your favorite commercials, Facebook posts you can’t wait to share, even the best billboard ads. They all have one thing in common; they all evoke emotion. Whether you’re organizing a fundraiser for a friend with cancer or trying to convince family members to pitch in and help care for an aging parent, eliciting an emotional response is the first step in how to motivate others.
Share the Details In a Story
The more you open up – about both the good moments and the bad – the more people will feel emotionally involved. Share photos to bring your struggles to life. People will grow closer to you through your story and, in turn, will want to help. Stephanie Glennon, whose husband, Jim, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, used Lotsa Helping Hands to communicate her husband’s ever worsening condition, her daily challenges, and, most importantly, her fears.
In her success story, she writes, “Months after my husband passed away, I realized people continue to access our site and still want to know how we are doing and to talk about my husband Jim. Indeed, I got another request to join the LHH site yesterday.”
Get People Excited About Reaching a Goal
People love the feeling of success and the reward of joining in a celebration. Your campaign can include incremental goals that you can celebrate together as a group. Use the Lotsa Helping Hands Message Board to communicate frequently with your community. Cheer them on toward the next milestone and let them know exactly what it takes to reach it.
How many times have you heard about the illness of a friend or the death of someone’s loved one and said, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.” Often, they won’t reply because they simply don’t know what tasks to delegate or they are uncomfortable asking for specific things.
If you are running a campaign, it’s your job to determine what is needed, delegate those tasks to your team, then work to motivate others to continue to help. It may involve some guess work or, ideally, conversations with the person you’re helping where you work to pin down exact needs. It will be worth the effort, because your community will jump to your aid when you give them specific tasks.
Keep It Simple
People don’t have a lot of time to read through pages of instructions. It becomes easier to motivate others with a checklist of smaller goals things to accomplish rather than trying to solve a huge problem all at once. Use bullet-pointed lists to explain the key tasks that need volunteers and schedule tasks through the Lotsa Helping Hands calendar to be more efficient with future communication.
Say Thank You
There are many ways to say thank you in the digital age. A public shout-out to volunteers is a motivates those who helped out to do it again while potentially recruiting new volunteers, too. On the other hand, a hand written thank you note sent through the mail is a thoughtful way to show your appreciation to those who have helped.
Make It Fun
Delivering meals, doing chores or running errands may not be anyone’s idea of a good time, so consider planning a fundraising event to break up the monotony. You’ll be raising money and awareness, showing the beneficiary of the funds just how much you care, and giving people a good time – it’s a win-win-win!
One of our partners, the ALS Association, is a pro in making awareness and fundraising fun. In addition to being the beneficiaries of funds during the popular Ice Bucket Challenge, they continue to encourage people to host a bake sale or run a marathon to support ALS in their own way.
Losta Helping Hands members have widely varying needs, but these time-tested techniques for motivating others work in most situations.