3 ways to make fundraising stories magic

Stories are so powerful they seem like magic.

But they aren’t magic. When you put a story to work, you have to get it right, or it won’t accomplish what you need it to accomplish.

Here are three things that will give your stories some magic:

  1. Your story has to be relevant to your audience. In their world, not only in yours. Create stories about the change they can make by giving. Then you’ll get some magic.
  2. Your story has to hook them. They won’t read it if there isn’t something to grab their attention in the first place. Write headlines that would make the supermarket tabloids proud. Then you’ll get some magic.
  3. Your story must have a completely obvious point. If it’s just a cool story that doesn’t drive people to a specific action, it’s just noise. Know up front what you want readers to do — and make your story about that. Then you’ll get some magic.

(This post first appeared on February 19, 2016.)


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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