Going Beyond the One-Story-Fits-All Approach
By Mo Waja
Storytelling to drive “giving” or donations can feel a little repetitive. A common example is the classic profile piece featuring someone whom the nonprofit has impacted. This is the written, video, or audio piece that introduces an individual, describes a barrier, and then states how the organization helped that person to overcome the barrier. It’s straightforward, it’s easy, and it’s a tempting format to gravitate towards. What this generates is a one-story-fits-all approach where the central character may change, but the general storyline remains the same.
The challenge with this approach is twofold. Firstly, on the donor side of the equation, this format speaks only to a specific, results focused donor and often fails to resonate with or impact emotionally focused or outcomes driven donors. Secondly, swapping out the face behind a repetitive storyline fails to embrace what is unique about each story or to illustrate the full breadth of your programs’ impact.
When you’re selling a product, displaying your value proposition by way of a consistent story that showcases the scale of your impact (the number of people that your product helps or has helped) in the most efficient way possible is certainly a strategy that works; however, when it comes to your nonprofit story you’re not simply selling a product. Similar as systems like monthly giving may seem, you’re not even selling a subscription service. What you’re selling is an outcome and the emotion that goes along with it. So, for people to really connect with your organization, empathize with your population, and commit to giving, they need (and want) to understand the full scope of your positive impact – not solely on the direct beneficiaries of your organization’s mission, what we can call your primary population, but on all the people that surround and are connected to them. Read more »
By Yunis Kariuki
Now in its third edition, the Speaker Discovery Series (SDS) is becoming AFP Toronto’s premiere event showcasing the most promising upcoming speakers in the fundraising profession. Speakers come prepared to tell their personal stories in 8-minute speeches with no slide deck or props, and what transpires are powerful, emotional and dynamic presentations connected to the fundraising profession.
Each Speaker Discovery Series is centered around a theme chosen by the SDS Committee. Dilemma was chosen for this past Speaker Discovery Series, held in May at the Gladstone Hotel, on Queen and Dufferin. The speakers shared the difficult choices they faced in navigating the complexities of their careers and how they dealt with their choices. The presentation topics ranged from the fear of not speaking up, to dealing with racism in the workplace, professional struggles and successes with Asperger’s, making the decision to walk away from a successful career opportunity, and finally, the challenges non-profits face when marketing vulnerable populations. What made each of the presentations so captivating was the speakers’ ability and skill in storytelling. The speakers’ stories contained conflict and struggle that kept the audience curious about what will happen next. Read more »
The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Greater Toronto Chapter is pleased to announce Nayeon Kim as the recipient of this year’s Outstanding New Fundraising Professional Award.
Nayeon is currently the Manager, Corporate Donor Relations at United Way Greater Toronto where she lends her expertise in corporate partnerships, individual giving and special events programs. Since joining the organization in 2013, she has effectively managed over 400 workplace campaigns across 17 different industries – engaging with 15,000+ donors and over 600 volunteers.
In the past year alone, Nayeon exceeded her campaign goals by raising $600K over target and $6.8M in total with some of United Way’s largest corporate partners. Nayeon works collaboratively with CSR professionals in large corporations to build meaningful and innovative partnerships, connecting the private sector with opportunities to create positive change in the community. Read more »
At home and abroad, Canadian charities make a difference
Originally published in the Friday, June 1, 2018 edition of the Globe & Mail
CANADIANS ARE MORE CONFIDENT THAN EVER IN THE COUNTRY’S CHARITABLE SECTOR and demonstrated their support with a significant increase last year in the number of people making donations, according to the 2018 What Canadian Donors Want Survey. Conducted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada in partnership with Ipsos, the survey found that the number of people who gave to charity in 2017 jumped to 70 per cent, 4 points higher than 2015, with each donor giving an average of $772. Although this was lower than the average donation of $924 in 2015, it is in line with the typical amount AFP expects to see.
The survey also found that 78 per cent of Canadians say they are confident in the organizations that comprise the charitable sector, the highest level ever and five points above the 2015 number. Roger Ali, chair of the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada, says the What Canadian Donors Want Survey is important because it both celebrates the power and impact of Canadian philanthropy and identifies better ways the charitable sector can inspire and engage donors in its missions.
“The goal of the AFP Foundation is to strengthen giving and volunteering across our country, and I’m grateful to every Canadian who participated in this survey – and to all Canadians who support charity and philanthropy,” he says.
Mary Bowyer, chair of the What Canadian Donors Want working group, says donor confidence is driven by charities moving away from simply asking for a donation, and embracing a closer, more engaged relationship where they work more closely with donors to support the organization’s mission.
“Charities want to show the impact of what they’re doing, so we’re being more intentional about communicating what we do, how we do it, and how donors make the difference,” she says. “Donors aren’t just supporters, they’re partners, and I think that approach has made a real difference. In each iteration of the survey, donors have told us that trust is built by charities that have dynamic strategic plans in place that drive their mission forward.”
The survey also indicated that donors are changing how they want to give and interact with charities, which means the sector needs to adapt.
In honour of AFP’s 58th anniversary, AFP is proud to offer a $50 discount to new members joining in the Professional and Associate Member categories by June 30, 2018. The discount applies to the $50 off the International portion of the dues. Fill out the membership invitation as usual, but deduct $50 from the total and be sure to include the following coupon with your payment. *Coupon must be included with payment in order to take advantage of this offer.
To join online, please visit the AFP International website and use promo code AFP2018. Please note that only one coupon can be used per new member. Offer expires June 30, 2018.
For more information, please contact the AFP International Membership Department at 1-800-666-3863.
By Penelope Burk originally posted on Burk’s Blog.
Ah…my annual indulgence that I eagerly share with you. Please enjoy this selection of comments from donors who have already taken part in the 2018 Burk Donor Survey. Included are a number of comments about giving during natural disasters, which is one of our survey’s special themes this year.
As always, my special thanks to dozens of not-for-profits who are reaching out to their donors in April and May to invite them to participate in The Burk Donor Survey. These wonderful organizations are united by their belief that evidence from donors should inform decisions about fundraising. And, of course, my deepest gratitude goes to those thousands of donors who, for a little while, have put their busy lives on hold in order to talk about what philanthropy means to them and how their giving is changing in a world full of challenges and opportunities. Read more »