It’s All About the Story
Thanks to those of you who took the time to share your thoughts on our Homepage Hijack. I think the biggest lesson I learned from this is the importance of asking for feedback – especially as we try out new strategies.
These are interesting but definitely challenging times for fundraisers – or maybe just for those of us with graying hair. For years and years, I’ve done pretty much the same things over and over again to bring in the bucks. But the thing is, they’ve worked. Sure, some appeals brought in more than others… but I have always felt confident that, if I just told the story in a compelling way, the donors would respond.
Now we have all these enticing new tools and the experts are telling us we have to start using them or get left in the dust. That makes sense to me, and I sure don’t want to be thought of as a stick-in-the-mud. After all, I was once the young upstart who brought the new ideas to the table. But as the one responsible for raising the funds for our small organization, I find myself feeling increasingly insecure. (Did the people I was pushing all those years ago to keep excruciatingly detailed donor records, scrap the blurry photos of bleeding animals, and send a thank-you note for every single gift feel the same way?)
As I said last week, we’ve adopted a lot of new strategies this year. Our fundraising plan has gone from one page to two as we’ve added e-newsletters and online campaigns to the basic 4 appeals, 2 events, and carefully researched grant requests. So far, the tried-and-true approaches are keeping us well in the black as we try new things – but the danger is that, in my determination to do it all, I end up not doing any of it really well – and that makes me crazy. Fortunately for me, and for our organization, help is on the way in the form of skilled volunteers ready and willing to take on some of the new stuff so I can do what I really like to do – tell the story. That’s a huge relief because this I do know – whether you tell it online or on paper, it’s all about the story.