You have my attention; I am looking at you and listening to you. You have made enough of a dent in my consciousness about your cause that I am curious to know more, and maybe, even, help out in some way. That is what you want, right?
Yes, as a nonprofit leader, board member or development director, this is EXACTLY what I want. I want the chance to tug your heartstrings, or to make you angry enough to want to make change. I have desired this opportunity to have your attention, focused on THIS conversation; not the soccer game, the election or traffic. This is transcendent, this might make the change, the shift that can change life for me and my constituents, or maybe possibly for you, as you begin to know, to care and to engage.
Back to the donor…
You make your case: rampant childhood hunger, the escalating pollution and degradation of open lands and water, the need to teach children the wonder of classical music, marine biology or softball. Now, tell me what YOU are doing about it, and how my help will be help. Stop selling me on the magnitude of the problem, how it got that way, who is to blame and the uncaring, unfeeling, idiot media.
What I want to know is what my involvement will mean, how it will make change.
- Is my check going to make a difference, how so?
- If I volunteer, what will I do, and how will it make things better?
- Why are you doing what you do?
- What will you do with my money, my time, my energy?
If you have my attention, don’t abuse it. If you have my interest, develop it with facts, with action and with well-conceived plans. Make the issue real and the efforts to address it tangible. That is when you will find me signing up for the newsletter, joining the community, and offering my support.
Communication is everything
Finding support, concern and participation are the goals of nonprofit leaders: learning the best ways to share the story, show the work, describe the progress, and make the ask are critical. Listen to what you donor wants to know, not what you think they need to hear again and again.
For effective ways to share your mission, streamline your conversation and be more fun to talk to about your cause, get in touch here or call us on 310 828 6979.
Cindy Lauren is the Principal of Lauren Associates – non profit consulting
As well as advising Executives and Boards on all aspects of nonprofit management, the firm specializes in developing fundraising solutions for all sizes of organizations.
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