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January 29, 2020

The Next Chapter: Make a Case for Giving This Year

Each of us has our own personal narrative. The story arc in which we’re the star. We have a basic plot, but at every major transition in time, whether it’s a birthday or a new year, we get ourselves ready to write a new chapter. We think about where we’ve been, where we are today, and where we’re going.

Your organization has its own story, too. It has its unique characters and history. And, the beautiful thing is that it’s not yet fully written.

What’s this got to do with fundraising? Everything.

The more you can intrigue donors with what’s coming next, the more compelling your ask will be. The best part is they get to be part of the story.

January is the perfect time to turn the page and start writing the next chapter for your donors. Freshen up your language and make sure it’s forward thinking. Don’t just regurgitate the same old story. Keep it moving, just like you would any plot.

The main thing is that you want to tell your donors exactly why they should give now. It’s not the same old story.

Take some time at your next staff and board meetings to tackle these questions:

  • Where are we today as an organization?
  • How are the issues around us shifting or changing? What is our response?
  • What are the challenges we face in the year ahead?
  • What are the opportunities we can seize?
  • What will be different at the end of this year? What new things will we know? How will our clients’ lives have changed? How will we be better positioned to make an impact?

Bottom line: If someone gives you money right now, what difference will it make for your organization, your clients, and the world?

Exploring these questions will give you new language for your major gifts spiel, mail appeals, email blasts, event scripts, and social media. Write it up in a cheat sheet and refer to it often so you don’t slip back to last year’s chapter.

Remember, yours is a living, breathing story. Keep it moving.

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