Monday, September 5, 2011

Tom Ahern at F and P Forum

Short lesson from from F and P Australasian fundraising forum...
Tom Ahern on newsletters. The purpose of the newsletter is kind of like the lessons from 'How to Win Friends and Influence People'. Tell your donors how good they are.

For example, the Gillette children's charity, instead of saying how good your work is 'At Gillette, medical pioneers set the standards for spine care' tell the donor how good they are. 'Zawadi says "Thank you" you helped Tanzanian girl stand tall on her own two feet'.

This lesson should of course apply to all donor communications.

It is not about you, it is about the donor. Getting this right will increase your income, period.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Better story telling

Many charities have proven that telling individual stories is more motivating for potential donors than throwing statistics and numbers at them.

Telling people that there are 10,000 people diagnosed with x disease per annum is not as effective as telling a story about one person with that disease, and what you can do to help.

Story telling hammers fact sharing when it comes to soliciting donations.

Assuming that you have already been convinced that this is the case, then the next stage is to write those stories in a really engaging way.

I often get involved in writing copy and a trick that I have found is that stories flow better, and are more engaging if they are personal, involving, directly thank the donor, and are witnessed.

By witnessed, I mean kind of like what preachers do. Don't just tell someone a story, make it personal. Since good direct mail letters should be written in first person singular, to a donor, the writer should be telling the story from their perspective,

In a story about someone with x disease, the writer should have met that person or their family. It is more compelling to say 'when I met Bill, I was shocked when he told me that...' 'it brought me close to tears...' than just saying something like 'let me tell you about Bill. He was diagnosed with ....'

Take a leaf from preachers - witness change.
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