Why should I care?
That's the question donors expect you to answer when you communicate with them. When was the last time you thought about your communications from that perspective? If you are like many nonprofits, you may have fallen into the trap of talking about HOW your organization works, not WHY your organization matters.
Getting people to care enough to give your organization money, hopefully repeadedly, and in greater and greater amounts, is a very simple, but often difficult, process. That's because many organizations get wrapped up in the day to day and lose sight of the bigger picture....and along the way, they start talking about their organization's FEATURES instead of their BENEFITS. Not very inspiring!
So what should you do? Here are some tips:
State the problem to give people a reason to care and use compelling stories to humanize the issues you are trying to address. Facts and figures, while helpful in telling part of the story, don't tug at the heart strings of donors unless those numbers are connected to real people. People give for many reasons, but there is usually an emotional element involved.
Talk about how your organization is making a difference to the people in your story. What are the ways you are helping them? What impact is your organization making right now? Is there evidence that shows your programs work? What plans does your organization have over the next few years? Do you want to improve your efficacy or expand your reach so that you can help more people? Having a clear vision is inspiring and motivating to donors!
Offer people ways to partner with you. Yes, you should be asking your donors to continue to give, and to give more over time, but how else can you engage them? What are your volunteer opportunities? Could you use their advice or expertise? Are there events that can connect them to the impactful work of your organization?
If you consistently and frequently follow this formula, you will be successful in engaging your audience. So the next time you sit down to write a blog, newsletter or appeal, pretend someone has asked you this - "Why should I care?"
If you'd like to learn more about how Sage Advancement Group can help you refine your messaging, including testing your messaging with key audiences, give us a call!