Today, successful fundraising is not simply raising money. Real fundraising success means reaching your full potential. Any organization can attract support. But Hartsook clients are raising the most money. Success Stories
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June 19, 2018
We All Have a Story to Tell
Here are some first steps for developing and sharing your story:
Ask board members, clients, and donors what drives them to invest their time and money
Turn this information into outcomes that are measured over time and shared freely in person, on paper, and on purpose via social media and news outlets. “Last year, we found permanent homes for 50 rescue animals. This year we’ll exceed that by 10 percent.” “This year, our First Friday Arts Crawl attracted over 100 visitors – more than double the event’s first year.” Don’t just share your work anecdotally. Back it up with numbers.
Collect stories that resonate with those who care about the mission
Train everyone – staff and volunteers – to collect stories at the time that they see and hear them. Don’t kid yourself: “Oh, that was so moving. I’ll remember and share it at the next board meeting.” No, write it down. Take a picture. Get a quote. Do it now. Then create a culture where everyone feels compelled to do the same.
Promote the organization through content marketing that aligns with a digital marketing strategy
Forget what you learned in writing class about not repeating yourself. When it comes to sharing your stories, tell them again and again. Post them on the organization’s Facebook page. Share them with the local newspaper. Include them in your monthly newsletters. When it comes to branding, repetition is a good thing.
An integrated plan should reflect the nonprofit’s brand, including the mission (what you do), measured outcomes (how well you do it), and ongoing stories of success (what a difference you’re making). Taking the time, energy, and resources necessary to develop the plan is worth every day and dollar invested.
Becky Brown, Vice President, Columbus, Ohio
Strategies for Success explores smart ideas, connecting with thousands of fundraising professionals. We welcome your best practices contributions or comments. Send to Strategies for Success editor Karin Cox, [email protected]. If you’d like a free subscription to Strategies for Success or its monthly companion, eHartsook on Philanthropy, contact [email protected].