Communication is the key to all human engagements. However, more often than not, non-profits find themselves at a loss when it comes to communicating their stories and trigger donations. Telling your story to the world is not as easy as it may seem, but once you’ve mastered the art of storytelling and with proper recognition in the society, you can not only shape the perception of your supporters, but also largely motivate them to contribute to your purpose.
All said and done, the most daunting part of any initiative is getting your story right. Is your content making a difference? What kind of message do you want to give? What kind of story do you want to tell – a story to attract supporters or a story to talk about your mission?
Telling the right story is as important as doing the right job, because without the first it becomes impossible to get people to help you along with the second!
In a nutshell, communicating your content to the community becomes the sine-qua-non of any non-profit endeavour. So here’s a list of the top 5 most fetching types of content to make your lives a little easier!
1. SUCCESS STORIES:
Success stories convince supporters and contributors that their contributions are put to good use. Progress reports and visible results help preserve their commitment to the cause. Success acts like the gears that keep the wheels of recognition in progress. The world is full of dreary and dark news churned out by media and newspaper houses everyday. People don’t want to hear that from NGOs. The best way to guarantee public appeal is to provide the beacon of light by your success.
Mastering the art of telling a success story, trumps negativity on social networks and increase your likes, retweets and re-pins by a ratio of 5:1 for positive stories over negative or depressing news.
2. SHORT TERM GOALS/URGENCY
Even though you may be continually raising funds, donors are far more responsive when their is a deadline or an urgent need is expressed. One way to create a sense of urgency is to tie a campaign to a specific goal with a deadline. Short term goals with a visible horizon or expiration date, garners most attention in lieu of their sense of urgency. Maneuvering a sense of urgency often enhances online communications and fundraising. A fast-approaching deadline or a limited time frame triggers action in donors or supporters who cater to the time limit within which the action should take place. It’s the reason behind donors giving generously during times of crisis. The fear of missing a deadline or opportunity instigates them to get down to act. Compare these and see for yourself:
Your donation helps people like Amit get back on their feet.
Your donation today helps people like Amit get back on his feet, immediately.
Some other words to sprinkle into the donation appeal: Now, Soon, Ends, Close, Approaching, Urgent, Hurry etc. Think of these vocabulary words like table salt: a little bit goes a long way, but once you add too much it leaves a bad taste in donors’ mouths 🙂
3. TRENDING TOPICS
Keeping tabs on the latest internet trends could also earn brownie points on public appeal. Knowing what is going on around you and using them to your benefit serves the dual purpose of establishing your site as up-to- date, as well as implementing your knowledge of current events constructively, to reach your goals! For example, the Nirbhaya episode saw a massive rise in women safety campaigns and funds for that purpose, post the incident; While again, so did the rural development projects, (especially the development of proper toilet facilities in villages) after the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. Thus trending topics catch on like wildfire and capturing the popular attention by being in the right place at the right time and sailing with the trend-winds, could prove extremely beneficial when it comes to gaining public appeal and fundraising.
Another useful tactic for online communications is to implement digits and statistics in your posts. Powerful, head-turning and shocking stats can guarantee instant attention. Readers may not have the time or patience to go through a 500 word blog post but the mention of numbers like “The top 10…” or “Did you know that 85% of…” will have them instantly glued to the content for its immediate statistical ingenuousness. Also, embedding the same (numbers or stats) in the pictures or images to go with the post, before uploading them to Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, adds that final layer of decoy to make the most fetching posts in social media.
5. INTERVIEWS & BEHIND THE SCENES
Interviewing Donors and Volunteers can go a long way in gaining new ones. Rarely do nonprofits interview their donors, however, this often overlooked kind of content proves to be very effective if one is to create a community of long-term givers instead of just a bunch of faces across an impersonal donor database. Studies suggest that sending questionnaires annually to interested donors and asking them to include photos of themselves in their responses could generate the kind of content that motivate other readers to join in. Also, the donors thus interviewed will get motivated to promote your cause even more and find it interesting to see and read about their fellow supporters and donors thereby creating an interactive community feeling. Again, reading real stories based on actual volunteer experiences, prove far more inspiring and enriching in the long run than factual FAQs on the website. These interviews bring out the not-so-obvious parts of the endeavour and add more personality and character to the initiative.
Members often want to know about what happens behind the scenes of a nonprofit. Taking photos of events and meetings, soliciting quotes from staff about key takeaways from the meetings, recording video clips of various events and activities or interviewing members and volunteers while they are preparing for an event might just bridge that final gap between your organisation and it’s followers.
Thus, consistent application of these themes in the content stratagem would go a long way in fetching a massive support bed. Smaller activities like getting a post-like or a retweet would build up larger consequences (signing a petition or volunteering for an event) that eventually become the driving force behind even bigger schemes like fundraising and donations.
In this way, when many little things come together and coalesce, they gain the impetus of their accumulated synergy and momentum. This in turn endows them with the power to hit-the-bull’s-eye and make bigger things happen!