Few people can resist saving a puppy. What happens when your organization doesn’t lend itself to something with floppy ears or little kids playing with an 8-week-old basset hound?
You can still make a solid case for support via direct response fundraising without those two cute elements. Some examples were discussed during a session titled “No Kids, No Dogs: How To Create Emotional and Powerfully Persuasive Fundraising,” during the recent ANA Nonprofit Federation conference in Washington, D.C.
The session panelists were Hilary Baar of the National Trust for Historic preservation, John Graves of Eidolon Communications, Liz Murphy of Beaconfire RED, and Emmy Nicklin of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Here are some of their insights.
Make it personal. Potential members or donors will react better when offered a statement such as “I save a place for you” versus a dry mission statement about historic site preservation. Elements of a persuasive case for giving more times than not isn’t your mission statement. You need to tap into a donor’s known affinities, thank them and allow them to share their contribution.
Storytelling is key to a donor’s reaction. People’s real life struggles lend drama and credence to your mission and help illustrate the complexity of your work. To get that done, explore new formats to tell your story or stories. Images, format and audience matters, according to the panelists.
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