8 Fundraising Ninja Tricks
2. Put it in writing
Ninja archers never miss. That's because they become the target. In a single flawless gesture, shooter, bow, arrow and target become a unity.
The fundraising ninja never misses either. He accomplishes this by putting the fundraising call to action in writing and doing so before the work starts.
The fundraising call to action — the specific action you want donors to take — often gets blurred, hidden or entirely lost. But when you put the call to action in writing first, you know without question whether it's there, and you know if it has been drained of its power.
If people need to argue about what exactly the call to action should be, the debate should happen before all the other work is done. The worst possible way to figure out what you want to say is to keep trying to say it until you think you've got it. That's how a fundraising rocket degenerates into a fundraising damp futon.
3. Everything is a story
Even the most clumsy non-ninja knows how important stories are in fundraising. The ninja knows a deeper truth: Everything is a story. That is, everything should be a story.
A typical fundraising story is one that illustrates in a human and emotional way the need for the donor's gift and the impact the gift will have. That's just one kind of story. There are others:
- A good deal (like matching funds) can be a great story if written like one.
- A looming deadline can be a gripping narrative in the hands of a strong writer.
- And then there's the best story of all: The donor's history of generosity.
All of these things can be emotional, powerful stories. You just have to write them that way.