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Using Stories in Nonprofit Marketing - How to Perk Up Boring Donor Profiles

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Using Stories in Nonprofit Marketing - How to Perk Up Boring Donor Profiles

  1. 1. Five Ways to Use Your Best Stories for Marketing & Stewardship Planned Giving Days 2009 National Capital Gift Planning Council Kivi Leroux Miller Stories work because they are sticky!
  2. 2. Seven Ways to Perk Up Your Boring Donor Profiles Kivi Leroux Miller New Title!
  3. 3. Stories Are Great for Nonprofits <ul><li>Easier to remember than numbers </li></ul><ul><li>Feed word-of-mouth marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Free! </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional, and therefore inspirational </li></ul>
  4. 4. People Hear AND See Good Stories <ul><li>“ Stories provide simulation (knowledge about how to act) and inspiration (motivation to act).” </li></ul><ul><li>– Chip Heath and Dan Heath in Made to Stick </li></ul>
  5. 5. Three Questions Donors Have
  6. 6. What Do Other People Think?
  7. 7. Do I Fit in with This Group?
  8. 8. Does This Work?
  9. 9. Answer with Stories <ul><li>In Planned Giving, Those Stories Are Usually Donor Profiles </li></ul>
  10. 13. But We Have a Problem A Lot of Planned Giving Donor Profiles are Really, Really Boring.
  11. 14. When Good Profiles Go Bad <ul><li>Tedious Bio Syndrome </li></ul>
  12. 15. When Good Profiles Go Bad <ul><li>Too Wide </li></ul><ul><li>and Shallow </li></ul>
  13. 16. When Good Profiles Go Bad <ul><li>Gushing </li></ul><ul><li>Flackery </li></ul>
  14. 17. When Good Profiles Go Bad <ul><li>Mildly Entertaining, </li></ul><ul><li>But Pointless </li></ul>
  15. 18. So What Makes a Good Profile? <ul><li>It’s a Story </li></ul><ul><li>It’s Focused </li></ul><ul><li>It’s Relevant </li></ul>
  16. 19. This is Not Serious Journalism <ul><li>Journalist’s Ideal World: Multiple interviews with several people, shadowing, research </li></ul><ul><li>Nonprofit Reality: 20 minutes on the phone or email. </li></ul>
  17. 20. You Aren’t Objective, So . . . <ul><li>Some leading questions are fine. </li></ul><ul><li>The subject can review a draft and provide comments. </li></ul>Flickr: Colm Bracken
  18. 21. The Profile Process <ul><li>1. Schedule the Interview </li></ul><ul><li>2. Gather Your Facts </li></ul><ul><li>3. Get Your Questions Together </li></ul><ul><li>4. Find the Nut </li></ul><ul><li>5. Write the Profile </li></ul>Flickr: africankelli
  19. 22. Article with 25 Interview Questions
  20. 23. Some Questions for Donors <ul><li>What's your first memory of . . . </li></ul><ul><li>What has surprised you most . . . </li></ul><ul><li>What do you wish other people knew . . . </li></ul><ul><li>Why are you supporting us as opposed to other groups? </li></ul><ul><li>What might (someone) be surprised to know about you? </li></ul>
  21. 24. What Else? <ul><li>What else would you ask for a planned giving profile? </li></ul>
  22. 25. Bad Questions <ul><li>Answered in one or two words </li></ul><ul><li>Delve into too much personal history </li></ul><ul><li>Focused on facts about the cause, rather than the person </li></ul>
  23. 26. Writing the Profile <ul><li>How should this story develop? </li></ul><ul><li>What will this picture look like? </li></ul>
  24. 27. Digging for the Nut <ul><li>What’s Most Noteworthy? (Obit Model) </li></ul><ul><li>The Post Hole Digger Approach </li></ul><ul><li>The Three-Act Play </li></ul>Flickr: re-ality
  25. 28. Act I: <ul><li>Introduces the character, his situation, and his goal. </li></ul>
  26. 29. Act II: <ul><li>Character faces obstacles. Tension mounts. </li></ul>
  27. 30. Act III: <ul><li>Action peaks. Character triumphs, gets payoff. </li></ul>
  28. 31. What Does the Reader Want to Know? <ul><li>What makes this person so special (not like me)? </li></ul><ul><li>How is this person one of us (just like me?) </li></ul>
  29. 32. Seven Ways to Unlock the Story
  30. 33. Cocktail Party Hostess
  31. 34. Different/Typical (or Vice-Versa)
  32. 35. The Insightful Anecdote or Quote
  33. 36. Fall Back – Spring Forward
  34. 37. The Action & Reaction
  35. 38. Paint the Scene
  36. 39. Straight Q & A Style
  37. 40. Let’s Fix Some Profiles <ul><li>How could you restructure this profile to be more appealing? </li></ul>Flickr: GodzillaRockit
  38. 41. Seven Keys to Unlock the Story <ul><li>The Cocktail Party Hostess </li></ul><ul><li>What’s Different and Typical </li></ul><ul><li>Insightful Anecdote or Quote </li></ul><ul><li>Fall Back – Spring Forward </li></ul><ul><li>Action and Reaction </li></ul><ul><li>Paint the Scene </li></ul><ul><li>Straight Q & A </li></ul>
  39. 42. Throw the Rest Out! <ul><li>Go back to what the reader wants to know and CUT EVERYTHING ELSE! </li></ul>
  40. 43. Dealing with the Quotes <ul><li>Do they say something you can’t say yourself? </li></ul><ul><li>Are they revealing? </li></ul><ul><li>Do they sound too predictable? </li></ul>“ Unnecessary Quotation Marks” by BarelyFitz on Flickr
  41. 44. You Need a Big Finish <ul><li>Your profile’s ending is as important as the beginning. </li></ul><ul><li>Epiphanies, wrap-up quotes, action steps </li></ul>
  42. 45. Beware of These Traps <ul><li>Too Much Chronology </li></ul><ul><li>Too Many Generalities </li></ul><ul><li>Stalling Questions </li></ul>Flickr: benketaro
  43. 46. Remember What’s Often Missing <ul><li>Conflict – The Three-Act Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Success Stories –Results from Past Gifts </li></ul>Flickr: hydrolix
  44. 47. Want Fries with That? <ul><li>Alongside with the profile, you need: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A good photo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A great caption </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A great headline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maybe a pull-quote </li></ul></ul>Flickr: takaokun
  45. 48. So Now What? <ul><li>What tasty goodness will we find in your planned giving marketing? </li></ul>Flickr: star5112
  46. 49. 5 Ways to Use Profiles More Creatively <ul><li>Stories on Your Main Planned Giving Page </li></ul><ul><li>Tell One Story per Postcard </li></ul><ul><li>Slice and Dice into Testimonials You Put Everywhere </li></ul>Make Stories the Nuts and Bolts of Your Marketing and Stewardship
  47. 50. 5 Ways to Use Profiles More Creatively <ul><li>4. Make the Profile about What You Did with the Gift </li></ul><ul><li>5. Interview Family Members about their Loved One’s Legacy </li></ul>It’s All about Their Love for Your Good Cause – Return That Love with Great Success Stories After you get the money . . .
  48. 51. Blog: E-News: Twitter: kivilm Facebook: Kivi Leroux Miller LinkedIn: Kivi Leroux Miller Slideshare: kivilm Email: [email_address] Office: (336) 499-5816 Let’s keep in touch!

Editor's Notes

  • How many saw me speak last year? We talked about newsletters, and how to use three different kinds of stories in your newsletters. When Rob asked me back, I thought I’d expand on that a bit. So I started looking into how stories are used in Planned Giving marketing. And what I found was that the overwhelming majority of the stories you tell are donor profiles. And I read a bunch of them. And decided to retitle this talk.