In her Hello Giggles article, Rachel Paige reports on Ed Sheeran’s perfectly accidental call-to-action as he was honored at the American Institute for Stuttering. Hello Giggles is a positive online community, founded by Zooey Deschanel, Molly McAleer and Sophia Rossi, covering pop culture news, DIY projects, trends and more.

Ed Sheeran Just Made an Excellent Case for Embracing Your “Weirdness”

ed sheeran

By Rachel Paige| Hello Giggles| 6/9/15

Ed Sheeran has done some amazing things recently. He’s written some incredible songs, and performed some equally incredible covers. He’s given hope to fans in need and singlehandedly made one wedding unforgettable. He’s even dueted with a Muppet. But on Monday, he out-Sheeran-ed even himself.

As an honoree at the American Institute for Stuttering’s Freeing Voices Changing Lives Benefit Gala, Ed delivered an inspiring and personal speech we won’t soon forget. He began by opening up about being “a very, very weird child,” and discussed how his outsider experiences made him who he is today.


Ed Sheeran – An Honorable Weirdo

When The American Institute for Stuttering recently honored Ed Sheeran at their Freeing Voices, Changing Lives Benefit Gala, Sheeran, by sharing his personal story and making a donation himself, made the perfect call-to-action – without even knowing that’s what he did.

The International musician/singer/songwriter and multi-Grammy nominee gave a candid speech about overcoming a childhood with special glasses, a missing eardrum and stuttering that developed following a traumatic surgery. The challenges that Sheeran faced in his young life, including receiving no understanding from his peers, only served to make him stronger.  He revealed that by the time he was ten, he overcame his stutter by learning every word of Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP, back to front.

He stated, “I [want] to not necessarily to shed light on stuttering or make it a thing, but stress to kids in general to just be yourself, because there’s no one in the world that can be a better you than you.” He ended his speech and left the crowd cheering for an encore of “Thinking Out Loud”. Instead, Sheeran returned to the stage and made a $20,000 donation. Proving as he said that “being weird is wonderful.”

Thinking Out Loud

Sheeran’s speech was the perfect call-to-action without being a call-to-action. Here’s why his speech was ideal  for driving supporters to donate:

Public Social Currency

Fans want to know all about their favorite public figure. Ed gave the lucky crowd an inside peek into his childhood when he candidly shared information about the difficulties he faced during his younger years.  His personal story connected on an emotional level with the audience. News and video  coverage of his speech made the organization’s mission accessible and easier to see.

Stories & Triggers

Sheeran wrapped up his speech by saying that he didn’t want stuttering to be a thing.  He stressed instead the importance of just being “you”.  By sharing his inspired and honest story, so relevant to the American Institute of Stuttering’s mission, he inadvertently made himself a ‘trigger’ for the organization. Now, when attendees of the event hear Ed’s songs, they will always think of his positive connection to AIS.

Practical Value

Instead of just asking people to donate, by making his donation on stage, he showed others how to make a difference .

Create your own effective call-to-action is your non-profit’s most important piece of the fundraising puzzle. Without a strong “ask,” the rest of the donor experience doesn’t matter.

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