I want to be like J-Hud

I want to be like J-Hud: Inspire Your Participants for the Fundraising Journey

You’re probably wondering why I’m referencing Jennifer Hudson (J-Hud) in a post about inspiring and motivating event participants, so let me explain. I had an epiphany the other day. Fundraising is like weight loss. We all want it and we want it immediately. But, just like weight loss, achieving fundraising success requires planning and hard work. Even though there are lots of short cuts on the market, to help you lose weight fast, they never seem to live up to their promises.

So, what does this have to do with event participants? The weight loss industry does a great job motivating and inspiring individuals to buy their products. We spend more than $58 billion dollars a year on weight loss products and services. I have to admit that I contributed to that total.

For the last few years Jennifer Hudson has been WeightWatchers’ spokesperson. The team has created several inspiring commercials, but I think they got it right with the first one. The campaign was built around a simple and powerful statement: I Can. The commercial features J-Hud saying “before WeightWatchers my world was can’t…, but on WeightWatchers I can”. This is an awesome message. My life was I can’t, but now I’m empowered and my life is I can. This is exactly what we need to do for event participants.

In the nonprofit events world, we’re great at sharing mission information or providing fundraising tips like how to raise $500 in a week. Let’s add another tactic into the mix and take a cue from our weight loss friends. In your next email or newsletter, include a story about an individual’s or teams’ fundraising success. Motivate your participants by sharing stories about what their peers are doing. Turn them from I can’t to I can. Plus, this is a great way to recognize your participants. They’ll be excited to be featured in your email and you might motivate them to do more.

How are you motivating your participants? Are you currently sharing peer success stories?

If you’re interested check out the commercial. It’s a great message.

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