The Commitment Curve helps you increase a community’s stickiness…and predisposes more members to do more things on behalf of the group. It’s a tool that helps you organize techniques for creating stickiness and action into a strategy.
It works by creating a succession of ‘asks’ of the membership of increasing levels of investment…investments of time, of emotion and sometimes money.
This tool has been used effectively by the best activist groups, movements and political campaigns. The 2008 Obama Presidential campaign is generally acknowledged as a great example of a highly effective use of a Commitment Curve strategy.
But the Commitment Curve is something that any kind of community should use.
The principle is to begin with low-barrier-to-entry asks and then ramp members up to higher barrier/higher reward ones.
A low-barrier ask would be something like signing a petition if your network has an activist agenda. Or it could be uploading a photograph or commenting on a community blog post if it was any other kind of group.
Higher-investment asks could be things like showing up for a meeting, writing a blog post, hosting an event, or leading a local chapter.
The point is that
a) Investing time or money into a community generates emotional commitment to it, and creates stronger buy-in to its goals.
b) Starting with low-barrier asks widens the net of potentially sticky members, and then predisposes those individuals to take the next, harder step because of the investment they’ve already made.
If you’re objective is to increase the stickiness and involvement of your community… whether it’s a small town, a stay-at-home Moms group, or a local Church…plan how you will migrate members up the Commitment Curve.