The folks at My RollCall attended my session at Cause Camp 2018 and invited me to share my passion for storytelling and telling your money story with their readers. Here’s some of what I shared with them in a post titled: What is Our Money Story and How Do We Tell It?
The ironic thing is, the more you talk about it, the more you raise. Here’s how to do it with ease and authenticity:
1. Make It Visual
As with most stories, adding visuals brings your money story to life. Infographics make it simple to specifically highlight the impact of annual gifts to show your donors how far their dollar goes. An image is especially helpful when staff and board members are uncomfortable or afraid to talk about money as they can let the image do the talking for them.
2. Tell the Truth
Don’t be afraid to tell your supporters about the exact dollar amount you are raising and why. You have a specific amount of money you’re looking to raise each year, don’t be afraid to talk about the specifics! Share “what it takes” to do your important work. Invite them to ask questions about your costs so they become a larger part of the conversation.
3. Share Funding Updates Regularly
If there’s been a change in funding streams, share that information with your supporters. You can’t expect your community to know that you need them to give more regularly if they don’t know what’s happening on your end. Don’t be afraid to be transparent if you lose a large contract or grant. You might be surprised how supportive they’ll be.
4. Create “Mini-Campaigns” Throughout the Year
Sometimes your annual money goal appears daunting. It’s helpful to create multiple “mini-campaigns” throughout your fundraising year. Sharing these bite-size moments in time helps close your annual funding gap. Knowing your money story all year long helps get your leaders and donors excited to help reach these more manageable money milestones. Spreading your mini-campaigns out all year takes away anxiety of reaching your annual goal at year-end.
5. Framing the Message is Key
The way you tell your story is just as important as the topic of your story. A message about what money makes possible is inspiring. It’s not a message about how “badly” your organization is doing or how “desperate” you might be for funds. It is a message about what money makes possible that inspires. Share what can be done together to allow your supporters to fulfill their own aspirations and increase their impact.
6. Fill in the Gaps
By sharing “what’s missing” you provide an opportunity for supporters to fill in the gaps and make a difference. By sharing the gaps between known sources of funding and what it actually takes to deliver your quality services and programs, your community learns how they can increase their own impact. This will make it easier to invite monthly or multi-year gifts.
Wait! There’s more: Download the slides & worksheets from my session “What’s Your Money Story? And How to Tell It?”