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How to Create a Strong Call to Action for Your Nonprofit

Every nonprofit needs a strong call to action (CTA) on their website, and in their fundraising campaigns, so we’ve compiled some helpful tips on crafting effective CTAs.

Call to Action Tips

Be Practical

It can be fun to use puns, play-on words, or try double entendres; however, often times they are not clear. While “Ready, Set, Go” might seem cute for a fundraiser that involves running, a better CTA would be “Run to Transform Lives” or “Run to Make a Difference”.

Use Concise Language

Being concise is crucial. This means you should use as few words as possible to get your message across and be direct. One example of this is charity water’s video campaign for clean water. As seen above, the CTA simply reads, “Start A Campaign”.
charity:water call to action

Use Powerful Verbs

Using strong verbs to start your call-to-action can encourage people to participate. “Please help us in our fundraising efforts” is a soft approach due to the phrase “Please help” but “Donate Today” is much stronger. Other strong verbs include, Support, Create, View, Read, Learn, and Explore. Additionally, using words like “now” and “today” can be good reminders to donors of how important it is for them to take immediate action.

Capture Emotions

When emotional elements are included, it can incite instant action. For example, “Experience Changing the World”, or “Lets Change Lives Now”.

Although this example is not from a non-profit, PointBlank SEO used a simple, yet effective CTA when they wanted people to sign up for their newsletter that could also be used by a non-profit. The call was “Be Awesome”. This works because it plays on our psyche. Think about it, who doesn’t want to be Awesome?
emotional call to action

So now that you have a few tips, you can get started formulating your CTA. Once you think you’ve got it, put your CTA to the test by asking yourself the following:

Is my call-to-action clear?
Is my call-to-action feasible?
Is my call-to-action easy to do?

If you are able to answer, “yes” to these questions, then you’ve got a good CTA.

Button Placement, Size & Color

In order for a great CTA to be effective, you need to consider button placement, size and colour:

  • Color – your button needs to be in a color that is eye-catching. It’s best to use a color that contrasts with the rest of the page.
  • Size – when a CTA is too small, readers don’t notice it. Conversely, when it is too big it can overpower the page.
  • Placement – Your CTA should always be in a prominent place, whether it’s on your website or in your newsletter, it should almost always be above the fold and in front of your viewers.

This example is from Water for People. The organization focuses on improving access to safe, clean water for developing countries. The Water for People image below demonstrates that sometimes it is the right background and placement that allows your call-to-action or donation link to stand out. Notice the young girl’s inviting smile and how impactful the call to “Donate Now” is.
donate now call to action

So as you are formulating your CTA consider clear language, verbs, emotional appeal and urgency but don’t forget about aesthetics of the page. If you find this challenging, take some time to look at how other organizations handle their CTA, see what moves you, and how you can pull an alluring call together.

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