The Story of Fundraising
Some people naturally speak in highly quotable phrases while others struggle to articulate things in short, pithy statements. If you're comfortable doing so, you can always ask the person, "So would you say …" and provide a short summary of his ramblings and see if he will "own" that statement. I don't make up quotes (unless someone asked me to do so, and then I get that person's approval before I use anything), but I will try to gently lead a person if I can do so in a way that is true to what she is saying.
A good story leaves me wanting to do more. Our supporters deserve to know that we are making a difference because of their contributions, but as fundraisers, we often need to also show that the job is not yet done. For example, "We have fed hungry children like Billy, but there are still many, many more who still need our help …" Strive to tell stories that show how someone or something has benefited, but also leave the reader excited about making a gift so you can repeat that success again.
I often hear, "It's hard to get stories." And it is; we're busy, some people aren't willing to share, other people tell their stories but not in a way that is beneficial for fundraising, privacy laws and common decency keep us from pursuing some stories, or for another reason we can't get stories that will make our fundraising copy compelling.
But this old dog knows that a good story can engage many people in a way that pie charts and spreadsheets will never do. It's worth the effort to find the stories and share them with your donors and prospects. You may not win a literary award, but seeing donations come in as a result of a story can be a thrilling reward for your efforts.