What do you like more – a story book or a text book? What gets your heart pumping and your mind racing with excitement? Stories do it every time. Cold, hard facts – not so much.
At Kindful, we’re honored to work with nonprofits who are changing the world everyday. And we want to help you spread the word and get the message of your mission out! While facts certainly get the point across, when it comes to donor engagement, not much beats the power of a good story. But how do you turn raw data and statistics into a compelling story that will make your donors stand up and get involved? How do you turn facts into an effective fundraising campaign? We’re glad you asked! Here are three easy steps to turn straight stats into strong stories.
Step 1: Start With a Stat
80% of slaves in the world are females.
– End Slavery TN (@EndSlaveryTN) January 28, 2015
I know, I know, we just told you not to do that! But although you don’t want your entire fundraising or social media campaign to be numbers, starting your story with a compelling fact can be a great way to grab your reader’s attention. For example, when our partner End Slavery Tennessee says that “80% of slaves in the world are females,”they hit hard with a statistic that makes people sit up and listen. Not only do stats add credibility to the work of your organization, they set the stage for a more in depth story to engage with your readers and get them thinking about creative ways that they can address those hard facts through involvement with your organization.
Step 2: Engage With a Story
End Slavery Tennessee’s shocking statistic will definitely make readers take notice of their cause. But when they follow that fact with the story of a woman who was rescued and healed because of their work, the organization creates a personal connection out of the impersonal statistic. It turns raw data into a story of hope and redemption that will certainly have supporters ready to get involved, whether it’s through volunteering, online giving or even peer to peer fundraising. Stories are also powerful because they can show your supporters what they can do. Consider telling the story of some of your most active volunteers, highlighting how they have put their unique spin on your work… and encouraging others to do the same!
Step 3: End With an Appeal
No matter how hard-hitting the statistic, no matter how compelling the story, donors won’t know how to get involved unless you tell them! And at the end of the day, the appeal is still the main point of your campaign – whether it comes out of cold-hard facts or personal stories. That’s exactly why it’s so important to frame your appeals in both. End your fundraising campaign with an ask after backing it up with statistical evidence and making it personal and immediate for your donors. Compel them to act and then give them a clear and effective way to do so! A great way to tie your appeal to the greater story is to show donors what their involvement – either through volunteering time or online giving – can do. Consider providing a list of suggested donations that tie dollar amounts to the needs outlined in your story or asking volunteers to advocate on behalf of specific people.
Turning raw data into compelling stories is an art. It’s the art of well-developed campaigns that cultivate donor engagement and strengthen fundraising campaigns. And it’s an art that you can master simply by tapping into the passion you have for your organization and sharing that passion with others. So get out there and put a face to your facts and action to your ask!
If you’re ready to maximize the power of your stories for increase donor engagement, give Kindful a call today! Our fully integrated donor CRM can help you manage your donors and track their giving with ease. And since Kindful is fully integrated with peer to peer fundraising pages and third-party online fundraising services like Emma and MailChimp, we can be the megaphone for your message! Get in touch today and learn how Kindful can help you exceed your goals.
Image Credit: justgrimes
Schedule a live demo with our partner Bloomerang, and we’ll show you how easy it is to create and automate reports, utilize online and offline fundraising tools, quickly integrate and access all your data, and ultimately create more time to engage your donors.