Can Your Board Tell Your Story?


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Board members often don’t want to ask for funds, but when it comes to raising friends for your organization, most of them are eager. But, do they know how to tell your story? Here are some things board members can do:
• Develop their own 30-second elevator speech about your organization
• Present “just the facts, ma’am” fact sheet to a local business person
• Speak with passion about your organization to potential donors

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Can Your Board Tell Your Story?

  1. 1. Sponsored by:Can Your Board Tell Your Story?Dalya MassachiandLinda LysakowskiMay 22, 2013Twitter Hashtag - #npwebPartOf:
  2. 2. Sponsored by:Advising nonprofits in:• Strategy• Planning• Organizational 969-1881info@synthesispartnership.comINTEGRATED PLANNINGPartOf:
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  4. 4. Sponsored by:Today’s SpeakersDalya MassachiFounderWriting for Community SuccessHosting:Sam Frank, Synthesis PartnershipAssisting with chat questions:Jamie Maloney, Nonprofit WebinarsLinda LysakowskiPresidentLinda Lysakowski, LLCPartOf:
  5. 5. Dalya MassachiLinda Lysakowski, ACFRE
  6. 6. SUSTAINABLE FUNDRAISING INSTITUTE Fundraising webinars delivered on behalf of ourstrategic partners, including: The Co-Founders: Ellen Bristol Lynda Lysakowski Dalya MassachiEllen Linda Dalya
  7. 7. Poll: Do you have a case for support(your story)?1. Yes, we have a written case for support we use asa source for all our fundraising materials2. We are in the process of developing/refiningour case3. We know we need one but havent done it yet4. We’re not sure what a case for support is andhow it is used
  8. 8. AgendaI. What is Your Story?II. Why Is It Important for the Boardto be Able to Tell Your Story?III. Who Should They Tell It To?IV. What is the Best Way to Tell It?8©2012
  9. 9. Does it really matter howyou present your case(tell your story)?Click the link in your chat box:©2012
  10. 10. The Case: Definitioncase (n.): The reasons why anorganization both needs andmerits philanthropic support,usually by outlining theorganization’s programs,currents needs, and plans.Source: AFP Fundraising Dictionary10©2012
  11. 11. The Case: Another DefinitionInternal Case (aka ‘the case’)“The internal case is a ‘data base,’ acompilation of information that willsupport the preparation of variousdocuments and publications thatwill explain the organization’s work.”Source: Henry A Rosso Achieving Excellence in Fundraising11©2012
  12. 12. Questions Addressed in the Case Who are you and what do you do? Why do you exist? What is distinctive about you? What is it that you want toaccomplish? How will this campaign enable you toaccomplish it? How can the donor become involved? What’s in it for the donor?12©2012
  13. 13. Make sure you can answerall these questions: Does your organization have a strategic plan? If you went away tomorrow, who would care? What do your donors want?13©2012
  14. 14. What is Your Story?• What your work stands for• What you want to be known for• Your essence or identity14©2012
  15. 15. EXAMPLESWhat do you think or feel when you hearthese organizations’ names: American Red Cross NAACP Lions Club Amnesty International National GeographicThey have built their brands over time:we all know their basic stories15©2012
  16. 16. Your uniqueness• Under-served clients, location, etc.• Outstanding credentials or experience• Extensive collaborations• Unusual point of view or approachWhen someone hears about your work, whatimages, feelings, and ideas do you want themto associate with you? What’s amazing,special, and inspiring about your work?16©2012
  17. 17. EXAMPLE: Beyond Breast CancerBeyond Breast Cancer is different fromother breast cancer organizations in that wefocus on quality of life. While we do provideneeded medical information and referrals,we emphasize living as fully as possible,despite the disease. We acknowledge thechallenges and limitations of living withbreast cancer, and we believe that focusingon activities that our clients are able toenjoy cultivates a higher quality of life thanmight otherwise be possible.17©2012
  18. 18. Why Is It Important For BoardMembers To Be Able To Tell YourStory? They are the leaders of your organization They are invested in your organization They know lots of people in the community who canhelp support you18©2012
  19. 19. Who Should They Tell Your Story To? Businesspeople Foundations Clients Journalists Politicians Colleagues19©2012
  20. 20. EXAMPLE: BUSINESSES• May have background and concernBUT may be unfamiliar with yourparticular slant or niche• Want to be inspired• Want to invest wisely in a trustworthy org:strong ROI• Often can get financially involved, but for howmuch?20©2012
  21. 21. Answer These Questions:What impact do you have on the community?How are you efficient?What is the benefit to the companyand its employees?How can you create a winning partnership?Who else is on board?21©2012
  22. 22. What’s your ROI?22©2012
  23. 23. How Do We Measure ROI? It is not just in dollars raised anddollars spent How does it affect your mission? Develop an economic impactstatement? Think long term!23©2012
  24. 24. Data you need to gather• Shared values, hopes, and fears• Why they care about your issue and/or org• How you can build on what they alreadyknow or believe• Relationship to your organization or issue• Information or tools they need to act24©2012
  25. 25. Ask what they want• What do they want to getfrom reading your materialsor speaking with you?Data? Emotions?(Emotions trump facts.)• What problems can you help themsolve for themselves or their community?25©2012
  26. 26. One secret:Ask for money, and you’ll get adviceask for advice and you’ll get money!26©2012
  27. 27. What Is The Best Way To Tell YourStory?27©2012
  28. 28. Emphasize benefits more thanfeaturesFeatures: Components or characteristics ofwhat you offer (programs, services)Benefit: How the features improve the livesof people in your community and satisfytheir needs and desires28©2012
  29. 29. Benefits answer these questions:• What will happen as a result of the particularfeatures you offer?• For each feature you offer, ask “So what?” Howdoes that lead to something better for myaudience and/or the community?• “What’s In It For Me AND US?”29©2012
  30. 30. EXAMPLE: HOMELESS SHELTERFEATURES: You offer homeless families a soupkitchen, warm beds, restrooms, child care, long-term job and housing servicesBENEFITS: (the difference you make; so what?) Higher level of nutrition and stability Higher level of employment Fewer families living in cars or on streets Less desperation, often leading to crime, drug abuse, etc. The sense of being a community that cares for everyone30©2012
  31. 31. EXAMPLE:MASSAGE FOR CANCER SURVIVORSA donation of $100 will buy a new clinic massagetable.(So what?) So our volunteer therapists can provide50 additional revitalizing, healing massages perweek to cancer patients in our community.(So what?) So they will enjoy happier, healthier,more productive, and longer lives and YOU willbe part of making that happen.31©2012
  32. 32. Tie back to your mission &vision…repeatedly• Evoke a vision of whatyour community will belike when yourorganization succeeds infulfilling its mission.• Make sure you “connectthe dots” for your readersover time in an ongoingstory of accomplishingyour mission32©2012
  33. 33. Engage both the heart& the head• Even left-brained peopleneed an emotional understanding• Your audience will remember how you makethem feel more than anything else you say or do33©2012
  34. 34. What makes YOU most passionate and inspiredabout your work?Let it shine through:• Transcribe what you would say to a respected friend• Act the host giving a tour of the best parts of your“home”• But don‘t dwell on details they don’t want to knowDemonstrate your OWN passion34©2012
  35. 35. WRITING WORKOUT for BoardMembersWrite 5-7 words that you feel describe the uniqueessence or personality of your organization(branding words):a) the special value you add to your communityb) the attitudes or ideals you hold dear and want tobe known for35©2012
  36. 36. Share storiesCapture the essence of your work withshort scenes and quotes from people similar toyour target readers or people they care aboutHow have they/the community benefited:results and importance36©2012
  37. 37. Stay positive Your messages should be upbeat,empowering Frame your message in positive terms Talk about the satisfying outcomes youachieve, NOT the negative outcomes thatyou seek to avoid37©2012
  38. 38. Activate with your ending!Your “call to action”: All the details they need Easy ways to interact with you Deadline? Reminder of the benefits they willenjoy if they act now38©2012
  39. 39. Cultivate conciseness:Less is more“Never use a longer word whena short word will do.” -- Ben Franklin• All about the memorable soundbites (tweet-worthy)• KISSS: Keep It Short, Simple & Skimmable39©2012
  40. 40. How Board Members Can Tell theStoryStart with a fact sheet: pocket-size card/brochure withtalking points to memorize & distributeOutline the points we covered today (KISSS)Possible formats:• Who, What, When, Where, and WHY• Top Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)• Myths vs. realities40©2012
  41. 41. How Board Members Can Tell theStory• 30-second elevator conversation(networking or social events)• Cultivation events and activities• Writing letters to the editor• Soliciting donations (face-to-face meetings)41©2012
  42. 42. Questions42©2012
  43. 43. YOUR SPECIAL OFFERS FROM DALYA20% off a paper copy:Email me for the linkFREE advice & feedback community twice a©2012
  44. 44. YOUR SPECIAL OFFERS FROM LINDA• 10% Discount on Board Training,Development Audits, & DevelopmentPlans• 10% off my latest book:email me for the discount code44©2012
  45. 45. CONTACT LINDA 866-539-9990CONTACT DALYA 510-839-154445©2012
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