Writing Your Fundraising Story

Writing Your Fundraising Story

April 08, 2024

Fundraising

Every successful fundraising campaign owes its success to the foundation of a compelling story.

A good story is the bedrock of any successful story and can be told a short catchy “elevator pitch”, or a well-structured lengthier piece.

The best stories are ones that can be told across various mediums and used in different ways. Told in full or in short form, it should always get the same consistent message across and motivate people to donate.

Features of a Good Story

SHAREABILITY

A good fundraising story will engage the reader/listener and will compel them to take action or share your project with others whom they feel will also have a connection to the cause.

EMOTION

When people read or listen to your fundraising story, your aim should be to evoke the same passion that you hold for your club or sport within them. The goal here is to make the potential donor to empathise with your project and encourage them to relate your story to their own experiences, creating a personal connection to your cause.

IMAGERY

When a fundraising story is emotive and encourages a personal connection, it’s important to use words and examples which then create imagery in the mind of the reader/listener. Your goal is to have your audience visualise the outcome and the opportunities/experiences their donation will give others. Stories that accomplish this are far more likely to receive donations.

IMPACT

In telling your story you need to explain to your audience how their donation is going to create change and impact those involved. Additionally, emphasise that the donor themselves will be personally responsible for that change by making a donation.

CARE

If your story resonates with the listener, it becomes easier to urge them to donate. An effective way to do this is to present a “fork in the road”: If you donate, there will be this positive outcome, but if we fail to reach our fundraising goal, this is what the future holds. This approach is good for eliminating those who lack enough concern to donate and highlights those that are genuinely committed to making a difference.

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How to Write a Good Story

These four key elements will enable you to write a story which helps set in place your context, engage the correct audience and, most importantly, ask for money:

NEED

This is the starting point for any fundraising story. This is where you communicate to your audience what you need to achieve through your fundraising project. Most commonly, this is how much money you need to raise.

CAUSE

You need to be transparent with donors about what you are raising money for. This isn’t as simple as saying: “raising money for our U14 team travel fund”. You’re better to add more information so donors know exactly what they’re giving to. Instead, you could phrase it like: “raising money for our U14 team to travel to the state titles and represent our club against the best in the state”.

IMPACT

It’s important to share what the impact will be. This is where you can insert your urgency or “fork in the road” and really work the emotion into your story. An impact outlines exactly who will benefit from the donation and how, as well as what change will be created as a result. For example, “raising money 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 never had by any team from our club before, which would only be made possible through the kind support of people like you”.

ASK

If you don’t ask, you don’t get! No fundraising campaign has ever been successful without asking. Make it clear what you are asking for and align it with an outcome. For example, “A donation of just $50 provides a football to a child who has never owned one before”. Or, “$250 pays for the tournament uniform for one U14s player”. However you intend to ask, it needs to be direct and specific. You can also align your suggested donation amounts that are used in your form to match with those discussed in your project description.

You can ask in several different ways, including:

  • Social media

  • Direct correspondence (e.g. emails, phone calls, even in person)

  • At live events, using a QR code

The most important feature of your fundraising story is your ASK. Not asking, or not asking properly, is the number one reason fundraising projects don’t achieve their goals.

ASF makes fundraising for sport easy by allowing you to manage your campaign online, offer donors the benefit of tax deductibility, and live track contributions that support your project.