Don’t Teach Anything New – How to Write a Strong Case for Giving

The best stories don’t teach people anything new. Instead, the best stories agree with what the audience already believes and makes the members of the audience feel smart and secure when reminded how right they were in the first place.

– Seth Godin

Story Time Image

Obviously, Seth Godin is talking about a strong nonprofit’s case for giving. Or at least, that’s the lens I am using.

Are you writing a strong case for giving?

Use Seth Godin’s idea and help your prospect or donor feel smart for investing in your organization. Explain why it aligns so well with what he or she already believes in and values. That your organization is an obvious place for them to support.

Also consider these tips:

  • Keep the focus narrow. This is not the place to tell every story that may resonate with the reader. This is the place to tell one story that exemplifies your organization.
  • Offer stories throughout the year and throughout the years. This will allow you to tell multiple stories, one at a time.
  • Authenticity is beyond essential. People know when it is forced or false. If you can’t back up your case with facts or answer the inevitable questions, don’t include it. You will end up losing current and potential donors.
  • Why you are giving to this particular nonprofit at this time is often a good story. If you are verbally talking through your case for giving with someone, tell your story – not just the organization’s story. Tell what moved you. You can be focused, authentic and, hopefully, align with something they already feel (which is why you were assigned to meet with them).
  • First impressions matter. That means a convoluted story can be more distracting than supportive. Plan out the important points ahead of time. Then, practice until you feel comfortable in case you get interrupted with a question.
  • Everyone wants to join a winning cause. Desperate asks went out with the last century. Now people want to know they are giving to an organization on solid footing which will use their investment wisely to do the work you all support.
  • Pretty pictures and marketing efforts do not a case for giving make. Nice documents have been involved in many failed interactions with donors. Trust me. We get called in to help resuscitate campaigns that have beautiful handouts. Face-to-face solicitations, with a strong case for giving, have better results. Every time.

Want help with your case for giving or to improve your fundraising results? Call for a free consultation 800.361.8689 and press 3 to speak with Abigail.