Many nonprofits struggle with how best to initiate and nurture relationships with prospective major donors. We all know how important it is to make the right first impression. Making it explicitly clear during that very first donor meeting who you are, what you do, why it matters, and why they should even give a damn. Your brand story will do just that. Done well, it will inspire prospective donors to become a part of what you’re doing. It can even help renew lapsed and upgrade existing donors.
At a recent meeting, a member of The Children’s Center Philanthropy Team presented its brand story to a long-time donor for the first time. After reading it from cover-to-cover, while seated at table, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a $10,000 check; his annual gift. He then tore the check into several pieces. You can imagine the heart-stopping, jaw-dropping emotional state of the philanthropy team member. The donor was so moved by their brand story that he asked his executive assistance to cut a new check in the amount of $25,000. He then asked for ten copies to give to colleagues to help tell their story.
When performing a brand audit for The Children’s Center in Detroit, one of the questions Trent asked leadership, staff, donors, board members, families, volunteers, and other supporters was: “What’s the story: what does The Children’s Center do?” While he expected the answers to vary, he was blind-sided with a surprise. What he didn’t expect was how over 50% didn’t even know how to begin to answer that question. He shared with Leadership, “How can you tell your story, if no one knows what it is?”
I have to say I expected the usual. That is not the case with this brand story. Extremely powerful. Simple and articulate. Visually impactful. Put me in tears. Share it with everyone. The message is loud and clear.
– Lisa V. Ford, Board Member, The Children’s Center
When done properly, a powerful and compelling brand story can literally be a game-changer for your nonprofit. It can help connect your organization with existing and prospective donors on a much deeper and emotional level. In today’s competitive environment, Nonprofits who don’t tell their story well run the risk of donors choosing another organization who does a much better job at telling theirs.
The next challenge became how to share their brand story with the masses. See how we scaled brand storytelling online.