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6 Words to Bridge the Heart-Wallet Connection

Being able to clearly describe what your nonprofit does is crucial to raising funds and gathering support.

People need to understand what you do and it needs to strike a chord in their heart before they’ll reach for their wallet.

Unfortunately, most people haven’t spent the time to refine their message.

Instead of sharing something that stirs the listener’s heart and soul, they regurgitate a long, boring, memorized spiel that’s way too focused on the organization. It’s “us, us, us, we, we, we.” It’s ego-centric and it doesn’t work. Who wants to hear that?

If you’re serious about raising more money and deepening donor relationships, you have to carve out the time to work on this.

Here’s an exercise I often do in workshops.

Think about what you say when someone asks “What does your nonprofit do?” Grab a pen and jot it down.

Now, try it again, and use half the number of words.

If you’re sucking in air, I understand.

It’s not as easy as it sounds to be brief. MemeCenter_1410889842581_462

In fact, it’s hard work to create something concise and inspiring to say.

Mark Twain, the great American writer, knew this. In fact, he said “If you want me to give you a two-hour presentation, I’m ready today. If you want a 5-minute speech, I’ll need two weeks to prepare.”

How much time are you currently spending preparing the words you share with donors and prospects?

If you’re like most people, you aren’t spending any time at all.  You’re using whatever pops you’re your head at the moment.

If you’re lucky, it resonates with your audience. If not, you’re boring them to tears.

Hmmm. Might need to spend a little more time on it, huh?

Back to the exercise. Got your half-sized introduction?

Good. Cut it in half again. I’m serious!

You should be down to just a few words. These few words will help you bridge the heart-wallet connection.

Want a challenge? Try figuring out what to say about your nonprofit’s mission using 6 words or less.

It’s a great exercise to engage your brain and think about it in a new way.

Every word counts. Choose them carefully.


I’d love to know what you came up with! Click on “Comment” and tell us both your old way of describing your nonprofit and the new one.  Who knows, you might just win a prize!

By | 2014-09-16T18:16:07+00:00 September 16th, 2014|Communicating with donors, Fundraising|10 Comments

About the Author:

Sandy shows Founders and leaders of small nonprofits how to fully fund their big vision so they can spend their time changing lives instead of worrying about money. She has helped dozens of small nonprofits go from “nickel-and-dime fundraising” to mastering donor-based fundraising, inspiring their donors to give often and give big.   Learn how to raise the money you need to fund your new nonprofit without begging, doing without, or paying out of your own pocket.   Click here to download our free ebook Fund Your Dream.


  1. Nancy Kiolbasa September 16, 2014 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    I have 10 words, but some of them are very small.

    “Replacing the despair of abortion with the hope of marriage.”

    • Sandy Rees October 1, 2014 at 4:40 am - Reply

      It’s good Nancy! Is there a simpler word than “replacing”? The simpler, the better.

  2. Janet September 16, 2014 at 8:24 pm - Reply

    We save animals’ lives.

    • Sandy Rees October 1, 2014 at 4:39 am - Reply

      Good job Janet – it’s simple and right to the point. Anyone will understand.

  3. Ron hayman September 17, 2014 at 1:26 am - Reply

    I had 3 paragraphs trying to describe my mission. 60 words or more. Now the mission is to honor, support, and encourage our troops and homeless vets with military care packages.

    • Sandy Rees October 1, 2014 at 4:38 am - Reply

      Ron, this is very good. If you could add one more little thing about how the care packages impact them, I think you’ll be set. I’m betting those care packages mean the world to the recipients!

  4. Jo Anne Miller September 18, 2014 at 12:51 am - Reply

    Brook Hill Farm, a non-profit horse rescue and therapeutic riding organization, exists to provide rehabilitation focused services and safe haven for unwanted horses, as well as offers a therapeutic riding program for personal growth and equine education for the community.

    “Helping Horses, Helping People”

    • Sandy Rees October 1, 2014 at 4:38 am - Reply

      Jo Anne, you know I love horses! Try to pare it down to fewer words and use the simplest words you can to convey the message. The simpler, the better.

  5. Christopher Norman September 18, 2014 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    Thou Shall Eat Foundation is a Christian charity committed to with and for orphans, vulnerable children, youth and their families in slumps and hard-to-reach areas around the world making sure holistic support is giving for the full actualization of each child’s potential. We address issues relating to the institutionalization of children determining practical ways to integrate such children into loving families. Our main area of operations is Sierra Leone.

    To Locate, promote and transform the quality of life of orphans, vulnerable children and youth everywhere – one child at a time.

    We look forward to you input.

    • Sandy Rees October 1, 2014 at 4:37 am - Reply

      Christopher, see if you can make it simpler. Only use words that normal people use in everyday conversation.

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