Tell Your Story Well

Nonprofit, FundraisingWe know why people give. But often there is a “disconnect” between why people give and how we ask them to give.

The resolution?

Tell your story well.

As you tell your story well, givers will have more joy and satisfaction, and you will raise more money for your important work.

In this series of posts, I will help you gain a practical handle on three ways you can tell the story of your outreach…and help your givers know they are making a difference and find great joy in their partnership in the good work you are doing together.

If you are one of the people in your organization who is tasked with raising money, you probably have questions like:

How do you:

Find new donors?
Begin a relationship with a new donor?
Motivate a donor to give?
Keep them giving?
• Motivate a donor to increase their giving?

You have heard many good answers to these questions. I predict they will have one common denominator:

Answer: Tell your story well.

In this first blog of the series, we start with what we know about givers and why they give.

People give because they:

• Believe in your work . . . and in your unique ability to do it.
• Are helping change or save lives.
• Want to change the future and to give hope.
• Want to make a difference.
• Have confidence in your fiscal stability.

People also give because they:

• Have a relationship with someone in leadership.
• Know it is urgent.
• Were asked.
Some give because they believe it “makes sense” to give here.
Others give because they feel the heartstrings.

For those who are more left-brained and rational in their approach to life, the facts, strategies, and statistics will help persuade them to make a decision to give. For others who are right-brained and more emotionally oriented in life, stories about your outcomes in a person’s life will pique their interest and help them make up their mind.

In fact, as much as we’d like to think otherwise, there is ample research to document that most decisions are based more on feelings than rational, logical thinking.

It is just as important to understand why people do not give.

People don’t give because:

• You have a budget shortfall.
• You have a need.
• Statistics and strategies and goals.
• They’ve given before.

The bottom line is . . . for people to take action, they need to care.

Feelings inspire people to act.

If we do our job well, we can help givers feel, care and act . . . for the sake of the lives you help save and change every day.

In the next blog of the series, we will discuss the complications associated with telling your story well as you communicate with your givers and raise funds.

By Denise Kuhn, CFRE