I got a great fundraising appeal from a wonderful nonprofit called Kids of Kadiogne (www.kidsofkadiogne.org). Aside from the usual request there was an insert titled “Why Our Work Is Important”. Go to the Brochures and Articles page to read it.
The page-long piece describes the life of a farmer in northern Senegal trying to feed everyone, send kids to school and purchase school supplies and prevent anyone from dying of Malaria. What’s excellent about the piece is that it provides a good story, one that draws readers in and helps us imagine being there and facing the challenges and opportunities of daily life. It’s not overly guilt-driven, and it highlights what’s good in the farmer’s life (close-knit community, children) but also the very real struggle for survival and what supporters can do to change things for the better.
This is key. I’m overloaded with sad stories and often feel helpless at the scope of the world’s woes. Nonprofits often reinforce that feeling of despair in an attempt to secure donations. This story helped me see the impact that a small donation can have on a whole family — mosquito nets save lives, school supplies transform the opportunities of a generation of kids.
Telling an effective story and showing your audience how their action, money or purchase will improve things is critical to getting and retaining supporters.