A short, clear fundraising message to connect with donors’ hearts is crucial to raising funds and gathering support.
People need to understand what your nonprofit does and it needs to strike a chord in their heart before they’ll reach for their wallet.
Unfortunately, most nonprofit fundraising professionals haven’t spent the time to refine their message.
Instead of sharing something that stirs the prospect’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.
Fundraising message 6 word exercise
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 down your response.
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.
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 fundraising message you share with donors and prospects?
If you’re like most people, you aren’t spending much 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.
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!
I have 10 words, but some of them are very small.
“Replacing the despair of abortion with the hope of marriage.”
It’s good Nancy! Is there a simpler word than “replacing”? The simpler, the better.
We save animals’ lives.
Good job Janet – it’s simple and right to the point. Anyone will understand.
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.
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!
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”
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.
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.
Christopher, see if you can make it simpler. Only use words that normal people use in everyday conversation.