Fundraising Through Storytelling

By | May 5, 2016

Recently it seems as if there has been a lot of talk  among the nonprofit community regarding the importance of telling the story about your nonprofit. Perhaps this is because when economic times are tough, you have to reach donors on an emotional level for them to believe their giving makes a difference. It has been discovered that 70% of everything we learn is through stories. Perfecting the art, and it is an art, of seeking out real stories and telling them in a way that inspires both you and your donors is the essence of being a fundraiser. Your job as a fundraiser is to connect your cause with both the head and hearts of supporters and enable them to make a difference in the world. Whatever fundraising discipline you specialize in, telling a good story will help you achieve that. Find stories about your nonprofit and practice telling them. Like any skill, the more you practice the better you will be at telling your fundraising stories to inspire your supporters. Here are some tips that I have found that work: Simplify Keep your story simple. Focus on your core message. An analogy can uncomplicated a message. Unexpected Say something unexpected to get attention. Ask questions to hold people’s attention and curiosity. Concrete Be specific. Paint a mental picture with words by using sensory language. Credible Provide compelling details, whether its research and statistics, the name of an industry expert, or something down to earth about the difference you are making. Research shows that many people respond better when they can link their contribution to providing help to a specific situation or person. Emotional People care about people. People care about situations that they can identify with. There is a range of ways in which you can do. One way is to use your words to tap into the emotions of people by making them feel they are a part of something important. Stories Telling a story helps people see how an existing problem might change and how they could help that change happen. People want to be agents of change. The best stories about your nonprofit are going to be told by the person, organization etc. that your fundraising has affected. How to seek stories You want to have your story give a clear message of success? Your challenge is to continually and deliberately seek stories that inspire you and that you can tell to inspire others. Just like anything else, this needs practice. Practice telling your friends, family, even the mirror. The more you do this the easier it will get. Remember to speak in a way that will bring the story to life. Most of all make sure that your story is not too long. You want to engage the listener without losing them. All the best at Fundraising as you tell your story. MyMissioTM can help you tell your story and raise significant funding for your cause. www.mymissio.org

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