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5 Magic Words that Open Doors for Your Nonprofit

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

Updated 3.8.24

These 5 magic words can open doors and get readers to support your cause:

“Here’s how you can help.”

These five words empower your readers to take action. Some copywriters refer to them as the Ask or the Call to Action.

5 magic words: "Here's how you can help" with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter

Why These 5 Magic Words Work

You spend all day immersed in your cause. Your readers don’t. They don’t know what you need or what to do next.

It’s up to you to spell things out for them.

After you show readers the problem your cause addresses … give the statistics … present a news item that shows the need for your ministry … tell a client’s success story … show how you’re changing lives … after you’ve taken all the appropriate steps to construct an outstanding appeal, then it’s time to say, “Here’s how you can help.”

It’s precisely at this point (when you’ve pulled their heartstrings and justified your cause) that so many organizations neglect to propel prospects to take action.

They don’t use those 5 magic words.

Don't Lose this Opportunity

Once you’ve taken the appropriate steps, it’s time to close the deal. Don’t lose this opportunity to let others have a part in your terrific work!

Instead, make absolutely certain you tell your reader exactly what he can do.

Be specific. Say, “Here’s how you can help,” and clearly describe concrete steps the reader can take to make a difference.

Steps like these.

  • Volunteering. Don't ask readers to volunteer.
    Invite them to make phone calls with a script, sort and label donated clothing or man a booth at a particular event.

  • In-kind gifts. Don't assume readers know you need things.
    Give them a list of specific in-kind gifts they can provide, such as computers (for administrative support), carpet (for the office), canned food (for the next outreach project), or kitty litter (for the gaggle of strays you’ve just acquired at the shelter).

  • Networking. Don't ask readers to tell others about you.
    Invite them to post your literature (which you provide) at specific locations. Offer them the opportunity to bring a guest to your activity fair or annual banquet.

  • Contact. Don't ask readers to "contact us if you have any questions."
    Ask them to fill out a survey. Start a blog and invite them to post.

  • Financial gifts. Don't ask for money.
    Ask for gifts -- targeted ways their resources can have impact, whether it’s sponsoring a student for a month of after-school tutoring, off-setting the costs of your hotline for a day or a week, or sending a gift to be doubled in a matching grant.

Tell readers, “Here’s how you can help,” make it easy for them to respond … and doors will open for your wonderful work you never dreamed possible.

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