Touting your organization’s successes only goes so far when you’re running a year-end fundraising campaign. But focus on the ways your donors, volunteers and advocates succeeded in making a difference over the past year, and you’ll not only get their attention, but their continued buy-in. Your goal is to bring them on a journey that inspires them to further their support in the new year.
How, you ask?
Make your supporter the hero of your story, and they will rise to the occasion.
“Each one of us matters, has a role to play, and makes a difference.” -Jane Goodall
Inspiration and validation, like the quote above from the iconic Jane Goodall, beget action. Here are four key messages you should be incorporating into your year-end marketing strategy to shine a spotlight on your supporters…
Message 1: You are changing the world.
When you speak directly to your supporters using “you”, and celebrate their contributions to your cause, they feel included, important and heroic. And how many heroes sit back on their laurels when there’s a world of problems to solve? None that we’re aware of.
Message 2: Your moment to join the movement is now.
If you’ve ever read a book or watched a movie, then you’re familiar with the hero’s journey. It’s the winding path a lead character must take to answer “the call” (some purpose greater than themselves) and reach their full potential. Joseph Campbell, the author who studied this pattern of personal development in mythology, states, “We’re not on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves. But in doing that, we save the world…”
Serve as the beacon of a greater purpose that motivates the hero to heed the call. In order to do that effectively, know that the hero craves self-fulfillment first and foremost. So be sure to show the hero their progress (and yours).
Message 3: You’re one of us.
We all crave belonging. Tell stories that foster connection and inclusivity, and you make your cause the epicenter of something greater than a movement – a community. The stronger the community you build, the greater the engagement you’ll get in return, and the larger your tribe of supporters grows. We suggest featuring interviews and portraits of your community members or any other medium that represents their voices.
Message 4: It’s not what you do, but why you do it.
Behind every action is the “why” that motivates it. Help your supporters discover their “why” by serving up stories that connect your organization to “big picture” purpose/s. What inspires your supporters about your cause? Explore multiple angles so you represent a diversity of perspectives; you never know what will speak to your next loyal donor.
Messaging is critical for year-end fundraising, but so is understanding your audience. We suggest getting to know your supporters by answering these questions: Who are they? What do they care about? What are their communication preferences? Why do they feel connected to your cause? Sometimes the best way to learn is simply to test, listen, and adjust.
Watch CauseMic founder Matt Scott’s talk on the hero’s journey for more tips and ideas to uplevel your year-end campaign.