Fundraising and the art of the story

One of the most crucial items in your fundraising toolkit is a good and evocative story.

The formation of an emotional connection between charity and supporters is essential. People will not give to a charity to which they do not feel attached to. To develop long-term relationships with contributors, charities must cultivate and grow that connection.

A cause is the starting point for creating a connection. Donors are passionate about a certain topic and want to make a difference. They look for a charity whose aim is similar to this one and donate to it.

Fundraisers have a propensity to regard the process of creating a story as a hazy art rather than a precise science. Charities can learn to convey their stories more effectively and boost donations by understanding and mastering the process.

In the face of a bleak economic outlook, charities will need to rely on donors more than ever. While much of the attention on storytelling is normally focused on attracting new donors, it may also be used to retain and improve relationships with current donors.

This is critical because your existing donor base is generally the best location to generate new donations. Maintaining contact with previous donors and keeping your impact in mind can help you secure a longer-term cash source.

Learn about your supporters.

It is essential to consider the concerns of donors. It’s simple to make assumptions, but doing so puts you at risk of misinterpreting your donors’ expectations. Instead, it is key to dig deep into the data, and figure out exactly what contributors value about your organization, its mission, and its activities.

The number one item supporters look for before donating is ‘overall efficiency,’ according to 70% of donors. They want to make sure that money is spent on making real progress toward the charity’s goals.

Charities will have to demonstrate their efficiency and put it front and center in their tale. In a similar vein, other major elements motivating donations were a charity’s ‘philanthropic impact.’ and a good reputation. 

Your fundraising efforts should emphasize effectiveness and efficiency within your story. Make trust and openness important elements of your story as well. Demonstrate how donations enable you to carry out your objective.

Many charities like to explain the effect of a single donation in simple words. A message telling donors that a five dollar donation can cover two meals for a service user is one example. Alternatively, a hundred dollars can provide clean water to a full village. Both of these examples place donations into the context of a charity’s activity and mission. They put the donation in context and reassure the giver that their money will be well spent.

Making an impression

Prospective donors can freely research charities via the internet. Finding organizations that best reflect a donor’s values and priorities is extremely important to them. They want to see proof of good financial management and mission impact.

If they are unable to comprehend your organization’s story, their funds may be directed elsewhere. Similarly, supporters are less likely to become donors if impact is not clearly explained and efficiency is not clearly proved.

Most donors’ main concern is how much of their money will go to the charity’s programs and field operations. Donors would rather contribute money to a charity that can spend it wisely.

Make sure your priorities are clear and that you’re making progress. Performance statistics and analytics back up your story by demonstrating impact, accountability, and a strong focus on mission accomplishment.

Define and measure the KPIs that best promote impact and stewardship, whatever your objective. Incorporate them into your story. They should be highlighted, strengthened, and shared. Make performance measurement and transparency a priority until metrics become ingrained in your company’s culture.

Baby Boomers and Generation X make approximately two-thirds of all donations.

Different generations require different types of communication.

Different communication tactics are required for these groups. Direct mail messages, for example, are still appreciated by the Silent Generation, although Millennials and Generation Z rarely respond to such communications.

Generational disparities are particularly evident in new means of communication. Social media and mobile ads are more effective with Millennials and Generation Z.

But, more crucially, websites appeal to people of all generations, making them possibly the most important fundraising communication tool available.

The medium is the message for your story when it comes to fundraising. You can determine the best channels to reach your audience by determining who your audience is. As a result, you’ll be able to adjust your storytelling to the approaches that work best for you.

Personalization is straightforward and successful on digital communication platforms like email and social media. Donors will be more likely to believe your communications are relevant to them if you do this.

In today’s mobile world, it’s also critical to make sure your communications are email-friendly. This is especially true when it comes to maximizing social media or email communications.

How should you tell your story?

When fundraising the most crucial aspect of creating a story is articulating your objective in a way that is obvious, accessible, and emotive. The use of imagery is the quickest approach to accomplish this. Images that engage contributors on an emotional level grab attention, link you with potential donations, and clearly emphasize the value and effect of your cause.

Make sure your website, social media outlets, and other communications mirror your brand and emphasize the narrative. Donors will remember your organization and mission if you have a strong brand, which means they will be more attentive to your campaigns and requirements. Make messaging and branding a priority in your strategic plan, and make sure your brand is reflected in all of your communications.

All components of your brand, including graphics, websites, and other types of marketing, should work together to connect your donors to your mission. Finding the most effective manner to convey your goal, priorities, and impact is crucial to sharing your story and reminding donors why you need their help.