Creating an Engaging Story
22 May 2017
Your story should get your supporters excited and motivated about your fundraising project. However, don’t presume your audience knows everything about your organisation or what you’re trying to raise funds for. In fact, you should write your story as though you’re talking to someone who has never heard about your organisation or your fundraising goal.
Your fundraising story should:
- Show and tell your target audience exactly what your fundraising is about,
- Be informative but not too heavy,
- Excite your target audience, and
- Motivate potential donors.
Inform people of why, how and when they should donate. The story is the bedrock of any campaign. It’s central to all fundraising activity. You must take the time needed to get it right.
An engaging and successful story will have four key ingredients:
Need– This is the starting point for any fundraising story. What are you trying to achieve through your fundraising program? Exactly how much money do you need to raise? BY when?
Cause– What specifically are you raising money for? This isn’t as simple as saying: “We’re raising money for our U14 team”. You need to be more specific and say something like “We’re trying to raise $20,000 for our U14 team to travel to the State Championships and represent our club against the best in the state”.
Impact– Share the emotion of your story. An impact outlines exactly who will benefit from the donation. You should describe the outcomes that will result from the donation and the impact it will have. An example would be: “We’re raising $20,000 for our U14 team to travel to the state titles and represent our club against the best in the state. This is a life-changing opportunity for our young players. It would be the first trip of its kind for any team from our club and it will only be made possible through the generous support of people like you”.
Ask– Don’t be afraid to ask. No fundraising program has ever been successful without asking. Your request will be far more effective if it’s specific and lines up with the emotion of your story. An example might be: “A donation of just $10 provides a football to a child who has never owned one before. Can you help?”. Or “$25 will pay for the tournament uniform for one of our less fortunate players. Will you assist?”. Make sure it’s obvious why your supporters should care. Also remember to:
- tell the donor how they can make their donation, and
- have a sense of urgency… you want them to know that you need them to donate now.
Feel free to tailor your fundraising story to target different audiences and mediums, but stay true to your cause. Make sure your story is current this EOFY as it will arm you with the power to raise extra funds in June.