Every successful fundraising campaign that has been run raising money for any cause, does so off the back of a well told story.
A good fundraising story is the bedrock to any fundraising and can be told in a long, wordy written piece or a short catchy “elevator pitch”.
Your story will be written to help you achieve an outcome and will be the central driving point of your fundraising strategy. The best stories are ones that can be told across various mediums and used in different ways, weather told in full or in short-form all get the same consistent message across.
WHAT ARE THE FEATURES OF A GOOD STORY
There are 5 features that we encourage our sports partners to try and achieve through their fundraising story:
A good fundraising story will engage the reader/listener and they will be compelled to share this story with others whom they feel will also have a connection to the cause.
When people read or listen to your fundraising story, you want them to feel the emotion that you have for your cause. The goal here is to make the potential donor care about the project you are trying to get them to donate to and get them to link the story you are telling to their own experiences and how they personally are connected to your cause.
When a fundraising story is emotive and enables your audience to make a personal connection you also want to use words and examples which them create imagery in the mind of the reader/listener. Your goal is to have your audience picture the outcome in their minds and the opportunities/experiences their donation will give others. Those stories which can achieve this are far more likely to receive donations.
In telling your story you need to promote to your audience that this project is going to create change and impact upon the lives of those involved. Additionally, that the donor themselves will be personally responsible for that change by making a donation.
It is hard to create urgency within fundraising, however if your story can make the listener care then it is easier to compel them to donate with urgency. A good way to do this is to create a fork in the road: If you donate, this will happen, however if we don’t raise our targeted funds, this is what the future holds. This approach is really good for eliminating those who do not care enough to donate and bringing to the surface those who do care and want to make a difference.
SO HOW DO YOU WRITE A GOOD STORY?
There are 4 key elements that make up a good story. These 4 key inclusions will enable you to write a story which helps set in place your context, engage the correct audience and most importantly ask for money:
Following these simple steps will enable you to break up your fundraising story to suit how you want to tell it. You may want to consider just telling the entire story, or spreading it over a few weeks by building interest then making an ask. This approach will depend on your audience and how often you can engage with them.
The most important feature of your fundraising story is your ASK. Not asking, or not asking properly is the number one reason fundraising programs or events don’t achieve their target funds. To find out more on how to ask more effectively, tune into our next blog.
Mark Thompson Director of Fundraising