Engage donors through your story

Donors want make a difference, and be appreciated, informed and involved.

So use continual communication to build your relationship with your donors.

Get to know them, and help them get to know you and your organization.

Who are your donors? What do they care about, and why? What is their dream? How do they want to help make it happen?

Explain the need you address, your work, and the lives you affect.

Talk about what you do, how you operate, and the people you serve. Who are your partners? What role does each of you play? How do run your programs and business?

Telling your story is a way to engage the donors and other partners you need to make a difference.

So focus your stories on social needs, their human and financial cost, and the social and economic return that donors can expect from investing in your work.

Keep your stories short and clear. Avoid hype and stick to details that focus on people living better lives as a result of what you do.

And if donors want to know more, particularly about how you operate, be candid about any bumps in your operations and services, and the steps you have taken to overcome them.

Openness will show donors your dedication to learning from mistakes to improve your work.

And candor and detail about how you identify and fix problems will show donors a variety of ways they can put their experience, knowledge, skills and dollars to work.

Donors want to help, and to know their support matters. So help them see how and why your work — and their involvement — makes a difference.

Want professional help?

Philanthropy North Carolina is a consulting practice that provides writing and strategic communications support for nonprofits, foundations, colleges and universities, and others working for social good.

To find out more about hiring Philanthropy North Carolina to work with your organization to improve your communications, contact Todd Cohen at 919.272.2051 or toddcohen49@gmail.com.

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