7 Ways to Use Verbal Images to Pull Donors Into Your Appeal
4. Put the donor’s gift into action
Donors often don’t have a clear idea about how their gifts will be used. In fact, many donors won’t even recall ever giving to your charity. So it’s useful to show donors what their gifts will do in a way they can visualize: “A young man sits at a small wooden table in his hut in Cambodia. Across from him, a health worker places the medicine on the table — medicine you provided. Stunned, the young man sees that he’s just received the cure for his disease. ‘It’s a miracle,’ he cries out, overcome. ‘I will be healed!’ And then with tears of joy, ‘I will be able to go back to my village!’”
5. Highlight your donor’s impact
One of the main reasons donors give is to know the appreciation and gratitude that come from helping. You can, of course, simply say that the people your nonprofit serves are grateful. But a verbal image drives the point home in a more compelling way: “When the doctor and nurses in the one-room clinic in Ghana see the boxes of medicine you provide, they’ll clasp their hands together in prayer, beaming smiles, and lift their eyes to heaven, thanking God again and again for this blessing.”
6. Convey your nonprofit’s work
Mission statements are usually uninspiring. You wouldn’t want to include one in your appeal. But a verbal image can express a nonprofit’s work in a way that engages donors: “John used to be a drug addict. Used to be. Today, saying grace at the dinner table with his two small kids, he sneaks a glance at them. Their heads bowed, hands folded, they’re … smiling! Finally he’s the father and provider he hoped he could be.” Immediately your readers know what this nonprofit does, and they get it in a way that’s more human and memorable than saying, “We help people overcome addiction.”
George Crankovic is an experienced, award-winning fundraising copywriter and strategist, he helps nonprofits reach and engage their donors through multichannel direct response, combining strategy, messaging, offer and audience to maximize results for acquisition, cultivation and reactivation. With a proven track record in marketing communications and fundraising, George has worked with blue-chip nonprofits from The Salvation Army, to Project HOPE, to World Relief, to The Red Cross and more nationwide.
An in-demand writer, George has published articles in Fundraising Success magazine, Nonprofit Pro magazine and other national publications. He is a guest blogger at Jeff Brooks’ Future Fundraising Now site, and he blogs at www.marketing-fundraising.com.