Why is Persuasion Important in Non-Profit Organizations?

As a future professional in the non-profit world I believe it is most beneficial to look at why persuasion is so critical to the success of non-profit organizations.

The most prevalent reason is that non-profit organizations rely almost completely on fundraising efforts and donations to prosper or many times to even survive. It is my job then, as a professional, to persuade others to give to my organization. In order to accomplish that goal I have to persuade them to buy into the vision and mission of the organization. I have to persuade them that it is important. Greg Bowden reiterates this when he says, “we seek to persuade. Not just to help people understand our mission but to convince them to make it their own.” He even takes it a step further and touches on persuausion tactics by pointing out that, “Persuasion relies on the individual becoming more invested in the mission. We must impress upon them our own sense of urgency and passion, but do so in such a way that makes their decision to become more involved seem their own.”

Our book defines persuasion as a process that involves one or more persons, also known as interpersonal relationships. Relationships are the foundation for nonprofit organizations because without them you cannot fundraise or ask for gifts effectively. A website I found discusses community organization fundraising as it pertains to nonprofit organizations. One of the points it emphasizes is the principle of authority. Simply put, they use people in positions of authority to persuade others and to try to build relationships. I believe that this principle has validity and can be a useful tool. By using a person in a position of power you are using their credibilty to build your own credibilty.

To sum up what I just said and reiterate what was discussed in class, persuasion is a pervasive tool that is constantly being used in every business and organization. When used correctly persuasion can help non-profit organizations build credibilty, build relationships, and increase donations and fundraising, which results in its sustainability.

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