Last week at the Blackbaud conference, I heard yet another story of good fundraising letters being eviscerated by marketing. Unfortunately, it happens all the time.
A fundraiser studies her craft, reads the results of fundraising tests, and creates a compelling appeal. Then a marketing person gets involved and tries to "fix it." They use passive voice in an attempt to sound lofty and confident. They put in keywords. They cut out most of the talk about the donor and shift the focus to the nonprofit.
You see, the marketing person has studied his field too. So he's doing his best with what he knows. Unfortunately, that will cause the nonprofit to lose money!
7 Ways to Improve Your Stories for Fundraising
There's help! The Movie Monday team recorded a 20-minute video with Steven Screen and Jeff Brooks. They brilliantly share what makes a good nonprofit story and what ends up sabotaging your stories.
One of the tips is that nonprofit storytelling is not journalism. Journalism type communication involves bringing a story to the donor. In fundraising, you are telling a story the donor is already in.
That means to be a successful fundraiser - in person or in writing - you need to listen to find the story. Watch this video to see what they mean. If you're nonprofit depends on donor gifts, you'll be glad you watched this.