Fundraising Optimism vs. Stupidity
Our donors just want the facts
Absolutely! They do — but they also want to engage on a heart level with what your nonprofit does. Collecting (and telling) the stories that show the “before” and “after” is not a luxury — it is an absolute necessity.
At nonprofits all over the world, wonderful stories happen every day. But I sometimes wonder if we care because there is so little effort made to capture those stories. Why did the Budweiser Super Bowl commercial, “Puppy Love,” go viral? Because in a matter of a minute, Budweiser told us a story that touched our hearts. Or the ad for mobile phone service from Thailand that told an amazing story stretching over decades? It connected.
Every day there are videos shared on Facebook that tell wonderful stories. Why are so few of them showcasing the wonderful story that was made possible because you donated to a nonprofit that is quietly changing its corner of the world?
Let’s keep the fine line between optimism and stupidity firmly in sight and make sure we never cross it. This old dog sees too many examples of fundraising that seek to offend no one — so it really doesn’t communicate to anyone. Your donors do love you, so honor that commitment by giving them a connection to your organization that goes beyond their heads and truly engages their hearts.
Pamela consults with nonprofits, helping them develop their fundraising strategy and writing copy to achieve their goals. Additionally, she teaches fundraising at two universities, hoping to inspire the next generation of fundraisers to be passionate about the profession. Previously, Pamela led the fundraising programs for nonprofit organizations. Pamela is a member of the Advisory Panel for Rogare, the fundraising think tank at Plymouth University’s Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, a CFRE, a graduate of Wheaton College (IL) and Dominican University, and holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from California Southern University. Contact Pamela at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @pjbarden.