|The science of storytelling.|
1. Find a great storyYou help people (or animals, or the environment) every day, and you’ve got some great stories to share. Your Christmas appeal is the time to bring out your most heartwarming story of need. Children and families work well at this time of year, as do genuine stories that relate to Christmastime – for example, a child who will spend the day in hospital this year; a puppy who was abandoned but found his forever family on Christmas Day.
2. Keep it personalIdeally, your signatory will have met the subject of your letter, or at least spoken to them. If not, try to arrange at least a thank you call so they can say they’ve spoken to them directly. Then use this in your letter to add the personal touch and the authenticity that will help your donors connect with the cause they are helping.
3. Avoid jargon and internal languageYour donors don’t need to know the gory detail of how you go about your work – just the bare bones. Avoid language which you’d use in a government grant application and cut right to the heart of the matter: ‘we keep families together at Christmas’ rather than ‘our complex programs work to ensure that families have the support they need to stay together’.
4. Get out of the wayAs fundraisers, we need to get out of the way and let our donors feel like they are directly helping the beneficiary. So your donors are funding research, not helping you to fund research. They are saving lives, not helping you to run a program to provide medical care to save lives.
5. Start a conversation
Donors love to have a direct connection with your cause, and letting them send a message of hope or encouragement at Christmastime is a great way to do this. Give them the opportunity to write directly to the people they are helping through a bauble or card they can return along with their donation.
We hope these tips help you with planning your Christmas Appeal. Contact us for information about working with The Copy Collective on your Christmas campaign.