Donor-centred language

Published on September 18, 2013 by

Digital storytelling for charities is about shareable content

No point in getting fabulous raw, real-time beneficiary-generated content if nobody sees it. Or cares about it. That’s why your digital storytelling content must be highly shareable.

The success of the GHNI and WaterAid projects outlined in my previous posts were dependent on supporters spreading the word online.

So what made the content highly shareable in these cases?

Close enough real time. People, including your donors, are used to instant status sharing, retweeting or 30-second posting online of what they’re thinking, doing, or looking at right now. ...

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Published on September 16, 2013 by

Digital storytelling ideas for your charity

I’m going to say upfront, this is an ideas post. It’s based on AJ Leon’s digital storytelling case studies as told to the F&P Forum last week.

It’s about changing the traditional model of storytelling from polished, charity-generated print stories to raw, real-time beneficiary-generated digital content.

Because I think it’s easy to dismiss AJ Leon’s digital storytelling model, I wanted to offer some ideas on how it could be adapted to your non-profit.

I’m not making any guarantees on whether these ideas will work. I just want to get ...

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Published on September 11, 2013 by

Digital storytelling for charities – in the hands of beneficiaries

At last week’s F&P Forum, I heard two case studies from self-proclaimed professional troublemaker AJ Leon about digital storytelling.

One featured a tiny, tiny non-profit called Global Hope Network International. Using digital storytelling, a mobile phone and a $250 budget, they managed to raise $72,000 in three hours to fund community development work in the village of Ola Nagale in Kenya.

The other campaign was The Big Dig for WaterAid in the UK. It saw £2.2 million pouring in for water projects in Malawi.

I don’t want to describe the projects in great detail here. Suffice ...

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Published on August 20, 2013 by

Donors need simple asks – Part 2

In Part 1, I talked about the problem of how to frame a double-barrelled offer.

That is, what to do if you have to develop a promotion where you have to work two benefits into a single offer.

Here are three ways to deal with this issue.

1. Bundle the benefits

I see this done a lot.

It basically involves looking at the two benefits and seeing if there’s a way to link them together under a single title.

I don’t favour this because it often results in watering down the offer. ...

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Published on August 19, 2013 by

Donors need simple asks – Part 1

I’m now working on a fundraising letter for a client that has a complicated offer. I’ve spent considerable time trying to whittle down the offer into something easy enough for donors to grasp when they scan the headline.

This problem often arises when your offer has multiple strong benefits. Note I say strong benefits that each could stand on their own as an offer.

For example, say your charity provides clean water wells to villages in developing countries. So the offer is something like:

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