Researched for you: Unit-Asking [Language Lab]

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What is Unit-Asking?

The One Thing You Need to Know: Ask donors how much they would give to help one individual and then ask how much they would give to help a larger number.

What works?

You’ve heard about the power of the Story of One. But have you heard of the Power of Unit-Asking? Here’s an example of how it works:

  • Start by telling the story of Monica, a struggling reader currently in fourth grader.
  • Describe in detail how their donation could turn Monica into a great reader through peer tutoring.
  • Ask how much they are willing to invest in Monica’s future.
  • Then explain that that Monica is not alone. She is one of many. (Describe how many.)
  • Then ask how much they are willing to invest in the futures of kids just like Monica.

That jump from one to many is called unit-asking. And it works like a charm.

What doesn’t work?

Telling the donor out of the gate that there are thousands of struggling readers. Nope, that makes the donor’s brain shut down because it sends the message that this problem is so big their donation won’t be able to make a dent.

Want more?

Here’s a cool inforgraphic on unit-asking and a link to the original research paper from whence the above info was gleaned. If you want help trying out unit-asking in your next appeal, just hit reply to this email.