Organizing a Fundraiser to Tell Your Story

July 1, 2014

Organizing a fundraiser in support of your mission is an intensive undertaking.  One important task is providing a good reason for members of the public to support your cause – which is not always easy.  Here are a few tips for telling your organization’s story as part of your fundraiser.
As an “insider” you probably know a lot about your organization’s mission and why fundraising is necessary.  You may know certain statistics about the areas served or the amount of fundraising achieved in the last few years.  Of course, these are very important data sets, but not always the most interesting things to share with a prospective donor – and sometimes, it’s the last thing you want to share with a prospective donor.

Certainly, it’s sad to know that people are hungry or sick, or that children don’t have clothing and can’t attend school, but facts and figures will rarely turn a prospective donor into a true donor.  Some donors can actually be turned off by too much statistical information if they feel that the problem is too large to fix, and that their gift will never be enough.

In the area of fundraising, we make our decisions based on emotions, not statistics. An excellent way to make a strong connection with your prospective donors is by utilizing your organization’s history and your storytelling abilities.   To go about this:

  • Remember to stick to the truth as much as possible.  Changing or removing names to protect privacy is fine, as long as you mention that it has been done.
  • Use your story to answer questions that you think your prospective donors may have.
  • Pick a story from the group’s past that covers a good cross-section of your mission and programs – let the story explain how your mission works.
  • Balance out the use of any required sets of statistics with pictures and interesting graphics.

When organizing a fundraiser, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your well-known local organization doesn’t need to tell its story.  That has no bearing on this issue as outsiders/prospective donors:

  • Don’t have the same access to the organization as employees, board members, and volunteers do.
  • Won’t have retained much of the information they were exposed to in the past because they had little interest in the subject.
  • Haven’t heard the story again and again like staff and board members.

Have you ever used your organization’s story to help you achieve your fundraising goals?  Share your experience in the comments below.

And if you’re organizing a fundraiser and have questions about engraved bricks, tiles, benches, or brick arrays, please call us at 888.MY.BRICK (888.692.7425).  At Bricks R Us, our friendly, professional staff will be happy to assist you with setting up everything for your fundraiser including a donor website, online ordering form, and an app for your mobile device. Contact us today!

Image Source: freedigitalphotos

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