Find Your Voice. Grow Your Nonprofit.
Our lives are full of noise. We’re bombarded by messages—emails, pop-up ads, billboards, commercials—all designed to interrupt and grab our attention. So, how do we cut through the noise and the clutter? How do we reach potential donors, create a connection with them, and compel them to take action? Here are three keys to help you find your voice and communicate with power, so that your message will resonate with donors.
No. 1: Tell a Story of Transformation.
What is the overarching story your nonprofit is telling?
If you have trouble answering that question, the odds are you do what most nonprofits do: You primarily talk about what your organization does.
But here’s the problem with that: NO ONE CARES!
However, people do care about the people you help, especially if they can see that their lives are being transformed.
Think about it: We watch movies and read books because we love good stories. And we especially love stories of transformation.
... The picked-on kid who finally faces his fears and stands up to the bully.
... The environmental activist who overcomes all odds to take down a corporate giant.
... The aspiring boxer who overcomes addiction and heartbreak to become a champion.
What story of transformation are you telling? Who are the heroes? What obstacles are they overcoming? What is the happy ending?
When you tell a clear, powerful story of transformation, your message will resonate with donors.
No. 2: Invite People Into the Story.
Telling a story of transformation is essential, but don’t stop there. Take it a step further and make it even more meaningful by inviting people to be part of the story, part of the transformation.
Human beings have an innate need for relatedness—to be part of something bigger than ourselves, to be connected to other people and to care for them.
As a nonprofit leader, you have a unique opportunity to meet this need for people. When you invite them into the story of transformation that you are curating and facilitating, you’re offering them something of great value. In fact, you can meet a psychological need that most brands and products cannot.
I challenge you to shift your thinking about marketing and fundraising. You’re not just asking people to give, you’re inviting them to experience the fulfillment and gratification that come from transforming someone’s life!
So, find your voice when it comes to asking people to give. Invite them to be part of a story of transformation.
No. 3: Recognize People for the Impact They Make.
You’re telling a story of transformation. You’re inviting people to be part of that story. Now it’s time to close the loop.
Create a lasting bond with donors by recognizing them for the impact they make. Celebrate them, not your organization.
“You inspire me.”
“You are changing lives.”
“Look what you did!”
This is the kind of language that resonates with donors and reinforces the belief that it’s truly about them—not you. You are just the guide, the facilitator. They are the ones making a difference.
Find your voice by giving credit where it’s due: To the donors who make it all possible!
Put it all together.
A clear message based on the principles outlined above will help you cut through the noise and resonate with donors. Find your voice, be consistent, and you will see the results!
At Leading Good, we help nonprofits clarify their message and maximize their marketing, so they can raise the money their cause deserves. If you need help growing your nonprofit, schedule a call with me at leadinggood.com
Rod Arnold is the founder of Leading Good. As the former chief operating officer of charity: water, Rod helped lead the young organization through a period of tremendous growth. Now he helps other nonprofits grow by applying principles and strategies that are proven to work.