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How to tell powerful stories that will dramatically increase corporate fundraising


Tell powerful stories

The key to not only surviving, but thriving as a corporate fundraiser in today’s tough environment is building relationships with your customers, both current and future, and to do so you’ll need to engage on several levels at once. These days, most people are busy and, as they’re constantly bombarded by facts, figures and statistics, tend to forget or ignore anything that doesn’t make an immediate impact. People don’t usually engage emotionally with statistics. For example, saying that 60% of Bangladeshis don’t have access to safe drinking water may make an immediate impact, but won’t make an emotional connection – after all, it’s just a number. As humans, we tend to engage with stories rather than facts, and with the personal rather than the general.


Have you ever heard the expression ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’? Well, that’s particularly true in fundraising. Images take only a second to view but make a lasting impression, and videos can be even more powerful. For example, imagine that your not-for-profit organisation was working to improve education opportunities in Africa. The ‘headline’ statistic is that, according to UNESCO, 22% of African children have either never attended or never completed primary school. This equates to almost 30 million children, an almost unimaginable figure. The strongest way to build a connection with your client is to reduce the scale of that figure and make it about three or four individual children as case studies. Telling the story of these children’s lives and what their chance for an education means for them is a powerful tool. Once you’ve set the scene, you can introduce the personal touch and show your client what their donation actually equates to in real terms. A donation could mean that every child in class has a notebook and pen. It could mean a class computer, or enough chairs, or a whiteboard. Your client has the power to make a definable difference, and become the hero of the story.


If you’d like to find out more about structuring your donation requests for maximum impact, our Corporate Fundraising Toolkit for Beginners has everything you need. Click here to find out more.

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