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No Emotional Stories? Look Again, Please!

“How can we tell our donors great stories that pull at their heart strings? We don’t offer services for the homeless or save puppies from being euthanized or any of that kind of stuff."

That is the eternal question. I get asked about that as much as I do anything else.

My response?

Pay more attention to the results—the outcomes of donor support. For example, if your nonprofit advocates for low-income housing in your community what you do is probably make phone calls, write emails, publish studies, and attend meetings. While these activities describe your process, they say nothing about the results of the process—the activities you participate in every day. In other words, it’s not the end-product. It’s not why donors give.

In the end, only a few non-profits legitimately can claim that they have a direct hand in saving lives. Here are two examples:

  1. Educational non-profits: people will survive without what is taught in schools, but what will the cost be to them and to society without the benefit of the knowledge gained from a formal education?

  2. Arts & Culture : If you’re not among the lucky ones to have seen Hamilton, are you going to die? No, but unquestionably you will miss out on a wonderful opportunity to be culturally enriched as to our nation’s history.

Does it matter? You bet it does! A lot!!

The importance of your cause should not be underestimated by you or any one on your staff. Find the drama. If you look, it’s there. That’s the story to tell to make your donors want to support your cause.

If you’d like to discuss finding your heartfelt stories, give me a call. We’ll flesh out the right one to tell together.

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