Successful Storytelling: 5 Foolproof Ways to Raise Money

Draw your audience in by capturing their imagination with a compelling tale!

Draw your audience in by capturing their imagination with a compelling tale!

 

Content is the heart of your successful fundraising strategy.

If you don’t sell it, you won’t connect with your audience. And if you don’t do that, you haven’t got a snowball’s chance in you know where to persuade folks to give to you to further your mission.

This is where learning to become a master storyteller comes in. I know you’ve heard this before. Storytelling is the meme du jour. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay real attention.

We’re in a content marketing zeitgeist.

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Clairity Click-it Year-End Giving Edition 3: Online Frenzy Time

This week's Clairity Click-it Gifts -- wrapped up in my blog. Open them!
This week’s Clairity Click-it Collection + Holiday Gifts — wrapped up in my blog. OPEN THEM!

In my previous Year-End Fundraising Planning Editions One  and Two I promised I would have more for you as year-end – and the biggest fundraising time of the year for most nonprofits – inexorably approaches.  Salsa reports that end-of-year giving can result in 40% or more of total yearly donations.

Online giving gets particularly frenetic at this time of year.

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7 Storytelling Tips to Inspire Nonprofit Donors to Act

Listen up: Have I got a story for you!
Listen up: Have I got a story for you!

As a fundraising professional, relationship building with donors is an ongoing process and communication is an important part of that process. Stories are a great communications tool that you can use to tell donors about their impact in a tangible and easy to understand manner.

Storytelling seems to be everywhere these days. Non-profits are actively trying to use stories to engage their current and new donors. Is your non-profit trying to tap into the power of stories? Perhaps it’s been a positive experience for your organization. But maybe you have faced some challenges.

One of the biggest challenges with storytelling is being able to tell a great story. A story that really stands out from the pack and resonates with your donor audience. A story that, ultimately, compels action.

Today I want to share with you 7 rules for telling a better non-profit story.

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3 Ways to Integrate Your Nonprofit’s Marketing and Fundraising

You can't deliver your message today the way you did 10 years ago
You can’t deliver your message today the way you did 10 years ago

Avoid becoming irrelevant in the digital age. It’s revolutionized fundraising and nonprofit marketing.

There are so many different ways to communicate today that it can be dizzying!

Ground yourself by remembering that though technology has changed, people have not. We have the same drives… needs… yearnings as prehistoric tribes.  We long for connection and meaning. We want to find where we “fit.”

Philanthropy provides that “fit opportunity” in spades (or, more aptly, in hearts). You’ve got the goods; you just need to tinker with your delivery system.

Here’s how to embrace the change.

1. Let’s begin with your gift of content marketing.

content marketing
What is content marketing and what can it do for you?

Content marketing” is buzz-worthy because without it, you’ve got nothing. You’re just a box with nothing inside. Kids like to play with boxes; most folks — when they grow up — are looking for something of value inside the box.

That’s your content.  What you’re all about. The gift you offer the world and your donors. Continue Reading

Surprising Science: Do Men and Women Respond to Different Fundraising Appeals?

Male Donors Respond Best to Pitches That Stress Self-Interest, Study Says. I came across this Stanford research study in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, and I have to say I’m surprised.

The article claims there’s an “empathy gap” between men and women. Because of this, it advises emphasizing how the prospective male donor will benefit from their philanthropy, rather than highlighting the impact of their philanthropy on the beneficiary.

Hmmn… I’m not certain the right take away from this research is to smother men with “hard” factual data and women with “soft” emotional stories. Because I’ve read study after study that show the heart trumps the mind – and stories out pull data — every time.Continue Reading

Clairity Click-it: Boards & Fundraising; Storytelling; Social Media; Email

Click-it!

Click-it!

First, you’ve still got time to send your donors some Valentine’s Day love. If you missed Monday’s post, check it out here. Meanwhile, today I’ve got another eclectic mix of links for you from across the World Wide Web – both from nonprofit and for profit sources. Enjoy!Continue Reading

Clairity Click-it: Give to Donors with Thank You’s and Stories

Click-it!

Click-it!

It’s the last Friday in January, which means Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. That’s a great day to send your donors some love – and that’s what Monday’s post will be all about. So… keep your eyes peeled!

Meanwhile, today I’ve got stuff to get you in a giving and sharing mood. Today it’s all about telling stories and saying thank you. Both are ways of offering your donors gifts. And I hope by now you know that if you want to get gifts, you must first give them.Continue Reading

6 Best Ways to Make Storytelling Part of Your Nonprofit Culture

How do you fill the brains of your staff, volunteers and donors with stories about your organization?
What better way to talk about accomplishments your donors make possible than through stories that portray them as heroes?

Everyone loves a good story. Everyone.

Which is why storytelling should be at the heart of your nonprofit’s strategic communications. I know ‘storytelling’ is a meme du jour. But that’s no reason to ignore it. Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t! There’s a reason these phrases become buzzworthy. In this case, because you want to serve up content that’s relevant, attractive and accessible to your constituencies. Storytelling fits the bill better than anything else.

In fact, of all the content you can create, storytelling is your ultimate weapon and the most powerful means of communicating your message.

Let’s look at this a different way. Continue Reading

WARNING: Your Fundraising Communications are Too Pretty

Thumbs up!Creative is great. I see lots of beautiful newsletters, web pages and email appeals. They have great design, colors, photos and even videos. But they have a problem.Continue Reading

Can I Sizzle You a Story? 2 Things Caught My Attention This Week

SizzleI know you’ve got a nice juicy steak. And you think that’s amazing.  And it is. But it’s not enough to make me buy it.

Why not? I’ll tell you why not.

You’ve got to sizzle it!

Two articles caught my attention this week, and each provides the answer to how nonprofits can share what they do in a manner that inspires passionate philanthropic investment.Continue Reading