Make Change Acceptable

Boulders and Clouds by Charles Jellison
07.12.2012By

"Boulders and Clouds" by Charles Jellison

Fundraising often necessitates convincing people that they should invest in change. So the question becomes how do you make change acceptable when so many people are afraid of it?

From a sociological perspective, making change happen goes beyond creating a desire or a perceived need. For example, we all know that homelessness and hunger plague our cities, countries, and the world. Possibly even more daunting, environmentalists struggle to convince many world citizens to become mindful about their consumption in the face of growing acceptance about climate change.

But how do you get people to act, to see that they can make a difference? How do you fight apathy?

One thing seems clear, while celebrity and media outreach helps raise awareness, it doesn’t necessarily equate to action. In fact, often it doesn’t.

In the end, individual change comes from communities and peers. We know that groupthink drives mass decision making.

That’s why peer action–in the form of activism, in the form of simple conversation on- and off-line, and yes, fundraising–within your community matters. The Science of Networks shows that when we see enough of our peers act or adapt an idea, community members become receptive of that concept and move towards it. In the end, it gets back to the tribal aspects of human behavior.

Grassroots movements begin with small acts of change. Many times they feel like pushing an boulder up an insurmountable hill.

A big part of getting the rock up the hill is making change safe and acceptable for larger communities. Momentum builds, and the rocks moves up the hill with greater ease.

How can we use on and offline tools to help people see change and embrace it?