Thu, November 08 2012

How to sharpen the message you’re about to send

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

WowStarPics photo credit

As part of Network for Good’s year-end fundraising package, I’m reviewing appeals and messaging submitted by nonprofits.  My most common feedback is they lack a story - or need a stronger storyline.

Here’s the best way to fix a weak story. I learned this method from story guru Lisa Cron, and it really helps.

Streamline it down to one person, one problem and one point.

Not lots of people, not many problems, not a laundry list of points.

Just one of each.  Then explain how that one person, one problem and one point symbolize the essence of your organization.  Ask for help to support more people like the one you described.  And thank donors for the change they make possible for people like that.

It’s that easy.  And that hard!

  • Comment: (7)   


I like the approach.  Very direct yet personal.  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/08  at  10:37 AM

I’ve met Mark and Chris. Both men are wonderfully full of love, giving, intelligent, genuine, and passionate. They are great examples to follow.

Posted by Linda Polk  on  11/08  at  01:12 PM

I agree with the idea make it simple not alot of details and explain in a few words how it resulted in benefiting the non-profit. We have so many stories I never know which one to use.

Posted by Clare Grochocki  on  11/09  at  11:23 AM

Excellent points.  it takes extra work but strengthens the point and impact.  We’ve taken to a strong youth engagement model in which they are directly engaged in the storytelling as keynote speakers at our fundraising events and in small gatherings and meetings with donors / funders - amazing impacts for youth and audience!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/09  at  04:54 PM

I saw this just in time to help me streamline my appeal for funds to enhance our early interevntion for intellectually disabled infants.The suggested way is focussed and does not get lost in frills .Thank you

Posted by pramila Balasundaram  on  11/12  at  08:07 AM

This popped up and grabbed my attention just as I began to complete an application for some funding to help me launch Village Link Golu! Village Link Golu is the first project of Village Link, the nonprofit corporation I founded this year. We are in the process of building a small computer center in Golu, Sierra Leone, a village where I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer before their civil war erupted. Now, I am trying to do my small part to help them rebuild. Thanks for the timely and inspiring words or wisdom!

Posted by RoseAnn  on  11/15  at  11:43 AM

The great Hindi thinker and Sant Kabirdasji said “Eko Saadhe sab sadhe; Sab sadhe, sab jaaye Eik mool ko gahi liye, Fule Fale sab Aaye” meaning if you concentrate your efforts on one thing (at a time) every thing would be done:; but if you try to do (practice) “every thing”, then everything goes (destroyed).

Posted by RAJENDRA KANPHADE  on  11/15  at  08:09 PM

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