How to Use Storytelling to Inspire Donors at a Charity Event

donor, donation, fundraising, non profit

Written by Tim Grable

September 24, 2017


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Planning a charity event is no cakewalk. It implies a complex mixture of skills and detail-orientation. Most of the pressure comes from trying to figure out ideas to inspire donors.

After all, a charity event is all about convincing donors to join your charity efforts. Why else would you spend so much time, money and resources?

Let’s take a look at what lies at the core of charity. There’s a real story of an individual or community that needs help and support.

Thus, if you wish to persuade people to back you up on your struggle, you need to point those real facts out. It’s essential to keep everything authentic and avoid manipulation in any way.

That does not mean that you should not get creative in the way you share those realities.

Use storytelling to present your cause and see how everything changes in your donors’ eyes. It’s all about mixing facts, emotions and a touch of persuasion.

How to Use Storytelling to Inspire Donors at a Charity Event

Why It’s important to Use Storytelling to Inspire Donors

Why do people give? We live in a world marked by selfishness rather than generosity. Thus, it’s important to understand what triggers people’s altruism.

  • Many people give to ease their conscience. They hope to hold down their faults by increasing their good deeds.
  • Others offer their money simply because other people do it. It’s like peer-pressure.
  • Lots of people need to be part of something bigger than themselves. That’s why they donate. They feel the urge to re-write their own story by joining a greater cause.

Here’s the hard reality: Donors love the social impact of your charity.

They are not interested in how your organization works. That is why you need to make sure they get to hear a STORY that is compelling and worth partaking in.

What Makes a Good Story

Using storytelling to inspire donors is not extraordinary in itself. There’s a lot of creative and empathetic work you need to include in the process. Here’s a list of ingredients that make a good story:

  • It’s authentic. Fake stories will fail to convince donors to support your cause in the long-run.
  • It sticks to your memory. While keeping the facts real, use more than plain words to share them. Try to be creative and present the story in surprising ways.
  • It reveals an extended impact. Show how a situation affects families, communities, and societies. Not just the people involved. It will help the donor understand how a particular problem can affect him or her as well.
  • It shows how the donor can save the day.  It’s essential to point out how donors can become part of the solution. It’s practical because they understand how to provide their support. It also allows donors to feel like they’re heroes. This feeling is a powerful incentive in itself.

Creative Ways of Doing Storytelling during a Charity Event

We’ve talked about sharing your story in a manner that inspires donors and sticks to their memory. Here’s a list of out-of-the-box ideas that could make your sharing unpredictable and unforgettable.

  • Singing. Many valuable songwriters and singers can create moments of inspiration for your audience. Choose artists that have similar passions with your organization. If you are fighting against child abuse, work with someone who shares the same ideal. Take, for instance, Kelita, who is a famous songwriter and singer. She is also an advocate of support groups for abused children.
  • Slideshows with live music background. That requires some hard matching work, but it can be more impressive than a simple video. It takes a great music composer and player to create a memorable experience for your donors, but it will pay off in the end.
  • Sand art. That may be the most powerful way of telling a story these days. It’s amazingly creative, unexpected and revealing! Given just a few facts, a sand artist can take your attendees to a whole new level of understanding your cause, and truly inspire donors.
  • Acting or Miming. Introduce the audience to your goal by putting on a play or a mime show. Just make sure you hire professional actors or actresses to ensure a positive impact on your donors.

If you need more ideas on impressing donors with your charity event, make sure to contact us.

We will be happy to help you identify the best resources that match your goals.

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