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Home Forums Module Five – Fundraising 2018 Fundraising Watch + Respond – What Did You Learn? 2018 Reply To: Fundraising Watch + Respond – What Did You Learn? 2018


I enjoyed both videos. Key takeaways were around engaging fundraising around the donor’s story rather than our own story. This connects us to the donor rather than trying to get the donor on board with our story.

I summarized both videos for anyone who’s interested in the Reader’s Digest version. The formatting didn’t copy correctly and this is supposed to be an indented list. 🙂

1. Seth Godin
a. Need to develop a story that resonates with people
i. The message (pitch) needs to be personalized
b. Non-profits are, by definition, “okay to fail”
i. They need to be comfortable with risk
ii. Set appropriate expectations with donors about the truth of where they will go next (things take time)
c. For the next generation
i. “If you can raise money, you’ll never need to look for a job”
d. People give because the value of giving is greater than the amount
2. Storytelling Video
a. 7 Tips for Great Storytelling
i. Know why you’re writing to donors today
1. “This is why I’m writing to you…”
2. It’s important to provide the context quickly to donors
ii. Donor needs to be involved in the story
1. Beneficiary and donor need to be in the first 2 paragraphs
iii. Be smart about how you use pronouns
1. Say “you” a lot
2. Say “I, we and us” as little as possible
iv. Story should be unfinished so donor has a role to play in appeal letter
1. Story is created to provide have an emotional impact on reader
2. Story should end with letting donor make a choice to make or not make a difference
3. People don’t like to be put in a state of cognitive dissonance (but you’ll get more donations!)
v. Write your story like a storyteller, not a novelist or tech writer
1. Storytelling is more
2. Talk in a normal, human language
vi. The story you tell is the donor’s story and not your story
1. Enter the donor’s story and enable him to do more of what he wants to do
2. We’re not recruiting donors into our cause, we want to be part of their cause
vii. Repetition, repetition, repetition
1. The call to action needs to be in the letter many times
2. Don’t be afraid to be persistent
3. Corporations know that they need to send the same message many times in their marketing campaigns

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