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The Good News

There are certain things you can depend upon, just like clockwork. For example, Taylor Swift coming out with a new album every two years or so (or seeing her at Kansas City Chief football games), or the Chicago Bears trying to develop a quarterback and failing year after year after year.

Here’s something we see all too regularly: We start working with an organization whose approach has been to “share a story of something they’ve already done or accomplished—some type of good news. Then they ask the donor to do more of what’s already been done.

Stop doing that! It doesn’t make any sense.

We change their approach to developing appeals that “share what’s needed today and how the donor can help.”

And guess what…their appeals start to raise more money immediately.

Does that mean that you shouldn’t share past successes? Of course not. After all, that’s how your donors see that their gifts to your nonprofit were used. But that “good news” should be shared in separate or different publications like your newsletter, blogs, impact reports, stories on your website, etc.

Another way of thinking about this is to tell a story that is almost complete. In other words, a story that allows the donor to imagine that it’s his or her gift that will provide the solution or solve the problem not yet solved.

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