February 19, 2013
Fundraising is the lifeblood of any nonprofit organization. Without a network of donors and supporters, it is impossible to have impact in the communities that you serve. At the same time, many board members and volunteers find it difficult to “make the ask”. One way to make fundraising easier is to turn the conversation from “asking for money” to “sharing your story”.
So, how do you create a story that donors can relate to? Here are a couple ideas of things you can share about your nonprofit that can help.
- Share your mission – Do you have a mission statement for your organization? If so, is it included in all your communications – in person, in print or online? If you have a clear mission statement, potential donors can decide if your nonprofit’s objectives are aligned with their giving goals.
- Share a personal story – Is there a person whose has been impacted by your nonprofit? Would they be willing to share their story and speak for a few minutes at the beginning of a meeting or fundraiser? A personal story helps bring your mission to life and can make it more memorable.
- Share the impact – Some people make decisions with their heart. Others make them with their heads. Do you have a summary of some of top accomplishments for your nonprofit and the communities you serve? This could be how many people or organizations you reached, how your organization positively impacted their lives, or the implications it has for the community at large. It is effective to include a personal story and then follow up with broader impact so that donors can see the potential that their gift can have.
- Show how people can help your cause – There are some many different ways that donors can help your organization whether they decide to give their time and talent as volunteers or as a financial gift. Many nonprofits who are effective at fundraising share how gifts will be put to use. For example if you share that a gift of $100 would help with art supplies for 10 students in the classroom, and that $1000 would help fund a semester art class for 20 students, donors can evaluate how they want to have an impact and potentially decide to gift at a higher level to help reach a goal
- Say “Thank you” – And one of the most important things to do is to thank donors. It enables your nonprofit to create a relationship with your nonprofit where your donors feel they understand the mission, have a personal connection with your organization and believe that their gift will have a positive impact on the community.