In any fundraising endeavour, narrative matters. Too many charities fall at the first hurdle because they rush to ask for gifts before they have developed a clear and persuasive case for support.
Drafting a well argued, securely evidenced case for support is the first step in nearly all fundraising projects. Without this, potential givers will find it difficult to grasp exactly what you’re trying to accomplish or the benefits you’re promising to deliver. So, unless you can share your vision by telling a story that inspires others to get involved, fundraising success is likely to remain firmly out of reach. Here’s our guide to creating a narrative that captures the substance and the spirit of what you want to achieve.
Making your case
First, set the scene by providing a little background to your organisation and the good work it undertakes. Potential givers need to be reassured that your reputation is trustworthy and that your activities have real charitable impact. This means talking about your major achievements, the number of beneficiaries you support, as well as giving key statistics or quotations that underpin and sharpen your case.
Don’t be needy
Next, demonstrate the need, without being ‘needy’. Aside from global emergency appeals resulting from war, famine or natural disasters, in our experience people are rarely moved by charities telling tales of woe and despair. You’ll have a much more captive audience if you express your purpose using the language of opportunity and possibility. And, rather than making potential givers feel overwhelmed by the problem, you’re more likely to convince them that their support will make a real difference to you delivering your charitable goals.
Be clear about the charitable benefits
Finally, tell people what your vision for the future is and how you’ve set about shaping it. People need to appreciate exactly what the benefits are, whether these relate to solving global healthcare problems, transforming education or providing desperately needed community space in your local area.
Remember, big money flows to big visions, that are both urgent and compelling.
By Andrew Day – Gifted Philanthropy