The one word to fundraise by

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Transformative; at the very heart of inspiring people to invest their money in charitable activity is the promise of transformation.

Donors seek to transform those things they want to see changed in the world and every charity’s raison d’être it is to trigger transformative change.

As a fundraiser, you need to

  • Know what transformative difference your donors want to make

  • Understand how your charity is transformative for your beneficiaries

  • Powerfully articulate the transformative nature of that work

It’s easy if you know how

Understand your donor

Ask open questions about what they support and why and the changes they’d like to see in our society and our world. Then confirm what you’ve understood.

Transform your story

The key to articulating your beneficiaries’ stories powerfully is to reduce them down to just a few steps:

1.  The essence of the story before you got involved

2. Your intervention (it might be appropriate to back this up with research or statistics)

3.  The transformation, it’s wider benefits and how it continues to make a difference

4.  Statistics and research – why it works, how many people it is helping etc

Then add the colour back in, but be sure not to distract with too much circumstantial detail – keep focus on the intervention and the transformation.

And that’s all there is to it – boil it all down to why your intervention kicks off a proven and sustained transformation.

Let me know if this transforms the way you articulate what you do. And I’d love to hear other guiding principles that you fundraise by.

Ilana Jackman is a fundraising and innovation consultant, supporting charities with ‘ask’ training for staff and volunteers, coaching fundraisers to hit their targets, establishing a fundraising strategy and participation campaigns, including legacies.