Nonprofits have unique needs when it comes to enticing, engaging, and involving their audience. While they may not be “selling” the same way their for-profit counterparts do, the goals—and the hurdles to them—are often the same: reach more people, create more leads, activate more wallets, and inspire more…of everything.

Of all the parts of speech needed in nonprofit marketing, action verbs are the most powerful. And calls-to-action, those quippy little phrases that tug your audience down the donation and volunteer funnels, are some of the most important parts of your messaging.

Here are five CTAs—and how to use them—so that you get the job done. Need more? Just call.

Learn more.

This subtle call-to-action is an invitation, not a direction, and can help firm up your softer leads as they navigate your social and web pages. This CTA should lead to strong, emotional content that shows the true value of your organization. It should also lead to stronger CTAs that bring the reader further into the fold.

Make a difference.

This is an emotional CTA that is best used to send your audience to a page that shows more precise ways they can contribute their time, money, resources, and reviews. Use it after content that describes the organization and the role of the people who support—and the difference they are actively making right now.

Donate now.

And sometimes it’s best just to put it out there. Non-profits need donors to be able to help their causes; however, simply just asking for funds doesn’t always work. Create compelling content surrounding this direct CTA. Ways to do this include pages that show exactly how your organization distributes donations, what donations big and small have done so far, and the future projects that are coming down the pike. You can vary this call-to-action by phrasing it to support a particular project, like “With our non-profit buying power, just $20 can feed a family for an entire week. How many families will you feed today?”


Again, don’t just throw a button on a website and wish it the best of luck. Let your audience know what to expect when they express interest in donating their time, show them with compelling images how good they’ll feel when they share their talents, and follow-up with them to demonstrate that you care just as much for your volunteers as you do your cause.

Love it? Share it!

Sometimes your audience is tapped for funds and time, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have the space or availability to share your content and spread your message. Create emotional, viral, visual content that compels everyone who reads it to be a brand ambassador. You’ll capture the attention of more of the giving audience and give your other calls-to-action a chance to work on more people.

Strong calls-to-action punctuate your message with exclamation marks without being so dramatic. The key is to market your message to a specific action and build the framework from there. If you do it right, your audience won’t feel like they’re being told what to do; instead, they’ll have nothing but good reasons to do it.