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Focus on What Donors Want to Hear

I understand the desire to tell donors lots of information. You want to communicate all kinds of details about the important work you’re doing, ways they can give, dates for events, that you’re on social media. I get it! Unfortunately, talking about yourself over and over is NOT an effective method for engaging donors. People are busy. So, I say get to the heart of your message quickly. And more importantly, focus your message on what donors want to hear.

I love this Bluefrog Fundraising graphic. It was updated during the pandemic and is based on research gathered in December 2020 when we were still at the beginning of the pandemic.

Notice what you may currently be sharing with your stakeholders. Next, take a look at what your donors actually WANT to know. The good news is your goal and your donors’ goal are the same: how do we solve a problem? – in this example how do we beat the coronavirus.

My recommendation when crafting your communication: think carefully about what you’re saying and whether or not it’s what donors want to hear.

Speak to your supporters in a conversational, engaging way. As if they are family. Because they are.

Donors Want to Hear

Whether it’s an annual fundraising appeal, a monthly newsletter, or a social media post, focus on what your donors want to hear. It takes a little more time to do, but it IS simple.

1. Show your donors what you are doing to help real people. This isn’t a time to just show need. Show relevance too.

2. Show your donors how you are innovating. Demonstrate how you have adapted your approach to the current situation and how you are delivering services from a physical distance. Show how you are protecting front-line staff and beneficiaries.

3. Show your donors they are valued. It’s important donors know you value their support and it is getting through to those people (or animals) that need it. Ask. Thank. And Report. And make it specific to the value of the gifts donors are giving.

Notice these steps follow the old writing adage “show don’t tell.” The very best way to “show” is to share a powerful mission moment story.

Sharing a powerful mission moment will make the difference in telling people about and engaging in your mission. The more you engage and focus on what donors want to hear — the more they’ll give.

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