Make a Difference card with nature backgroundAs a nonprofit organization, your cause matters. Your core group of supporters, volunteers and donors already know your value and are happy to be a cheerleader for your efforts — some more than others.

But how do you convince a stranger that donating to your cause is a good place to spend their hard-earned money?

Personable stories and persuasive writing are key to creating a strong Fundraising Appeal to connect with potential donors and make that first impression that will leave them wanting more.

OK, you get it — you need to fuse stories into your communication and marketing strategies, but how do you make sure your Fundraising Appeal will work? Here’s 3 awesome tips to get you started.

1. Find Memorable Stories.

We are all bombarded by overwhelming amounts of information on a daily basis. From social media to e-mail to more traditional outreach such as print mailers or even TV news stories, your crowd of potential donors has a sea of stories to sift through. Whether they pay attention in the first place is one thing, but if you can find a story that stands out so much donors will want to tell it again — that’s when you’ve found the story worth writing. It’s that memorable, emotional quality that keeps you in the minds of donors, which gives them more time to consider donating.

2. Show your impact.

While you don’t want an emotional appeal such as this to be too number-heavy, you do want to show your community impact where it matters. Tell us about the number of people you’ve helped, and the increase in dollars you’ll need to therefore double that impact — or whatever your goal might be. Find unique ways to illustrate the data so your donors understand exactly how you help, and are also excited by it.

3. Be specific.

This piggy backs off showing your impact, but the point is to tell your donors exactly what they can offer and exactly how it will help. You may be asking for money, you may be looking for volunteers, or you may simply want them to join an e-mail newsletter as you build awareness about a specific campaign. Whatever it is, use details.

Don’t simply say, “Your donation helps our foundation meet its goals to serve the community.”

Ummm …. OK?

Instead, how about: Your $1,000 donation is enough to sponsor an complete scholarship for our educational programs. OR, Spending just 3 hours a week volunteer at our center helps us meet our goal of helping 1,500 families in need each month.

Learn more about my work with Nonprofits.

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