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Ellie Says: Unleash Your Donor’s Imagination

Ellie Says: Unleash Your Donor’s Imagination

This is Ellie. Ellie is a pet Dragon on loan to me from my daughter. She perches on my office wall and helps me work. Usually Ellie is a behind the scenes sort of gal, but I get so much inspiration from her and from the rest of my children’s creations it seems somehow wrong to keep her to myself. Plus, she sparkles–how cool is that???

Today’s lesson from Ellie is inspired by the power of a child’s imagination.

Most children will get bored in a bare room pretty quickly. Give them the newest gee-wiz toy and they’ll be entertained for a while–but only for awhile, and only if the toy is perfectly matched to their interests. On the other hand, give those same children a refrigerator sized card board box and art supplies–you watch out!

Donors can be a little like that. “Donate Now” with no explanation won’t get you very far. But too many details–especially in the form of facts and figures, keep donors separated from your cause. The right details might work for the right donor for a little while, but the passion you need for long term support goes missing.

On the other hand if you start a great story–one with a good frame and room inside for readers to fill in the details – each donor has to a chance to complete the story, casting themselves as the hero. You can imagine what that will do for future donations!

Try It!

Instead of your usual donor story, write your next campaign like a children’s drawing. Broad, enthusiastic strokes, with lots of room for interpretation. See what happens when your readers fill in the details. And don’t forget the sparkles!