When stories in appeals kill your fundraising results

With all the articles, blog posts, and white papers about storytelling in fundraising, it’s easy to think that all you have to do is drop a story into an appeal and there you go — success.

Not necessarily so. See my guest post at Future Fundraising Now for more.

It may be the stories themselves causing the problem. Here are five things to look out for that could be making your stories less effective:

  1. Avoid “purple prose.” Let the story tell itself.
  2. Keep it simple. Convoluted stories make donors give up.
  3. Make it about the donor. She’s the most important part.
  4. Hold back the solution. Let the donor provide it.
  5. Give the story space to breathe. Pacing is vital.

See more on each of these points here.

Stories can and do work. But it’s not like flipping a switch. Connecting with donors takes stories that are believable.

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