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6 Unique & Compelling Story Ideas for Your Fall Fundraising Appeal

By September 7, 2016Storytelling

You already know sharing stories in your fall fundraising appeal is a “must do.”

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But what story will you share?

Here are 6 recommendations for choosing a unique and compelling story.

Focusing on choosing unique and compelling stories has been especially helpful for my clients. Collectively they’ve raise $300 million from individual donors.

1. Share a follow-up story about a person you have talked about before. What is the update on that student that got a scholarship last year? Or that veteran who finally found a job and a clean, safe place to life that you highlighted in your enewsletter or annual report? Returning to previous story subjects can cause donors to feel more deeply connected to your organization as this story from Kevin Knowles who suffers from PKD does.

2. Share a story about a multi-year donor giving at a level higher than your average gift. Make sure to let readers know WHY the donor started giving and WHY they continue giving. Remember, your WHY is the reason continue to take action according to Simon Sinek.

3. Share a story about someone you weren’t able to help because you don’t have the resources to serve them. This is where you talk about the gap between what you are able to do and your vision for doing more. It’s where you make a compelling case for how a gift makes a difference to one person.

4. Share a story that coveys the essence of your work. A simple, short, powerful story that clearly shows me what a gift to your organization does. charity:water does an excellent job of this all year long.

5. Share a story of a volunteer. This could be a long-time program volunteer, the senior citizen who welcomes patients at your hospital, the board member that is off-the-charts awesome. Using THEIR words you get to share why you are the best return on investment for your supporters.

Stories for Fall Appeal

Image Source: American Red Cross YouTube video

6. Allow the people you serve to share their story. This could be done in written form, at a live event during your fall fundraising season, or using video. The American Red Cross has an inspiring way to allow people they serve tell their own story.

Once you have the story chosen, it’s time to draft your appeal and create the social media plan to execute a successful fall fundraising effort.

And finally, some resources to draft a fall fundraising appeal that exceeds your goals:

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