If you’re of a certain age, you remember TV shows from a few decades ago.
But do you remember how they opened? The theme songs and openings literally told a story before the show ever began. They lasted for minutes.
Laverne and Shirley? They worked at a brewery. Different Strokes? Arnold got adopted by a rich guy. Those are just two examples. You can probably think of dozens more.
Now think about TV shows today. Barely any openings. They just begin. A shrinking attention span could be to blame. People are busy. Sometimes too busy to watch every minute of a show. And very likely too busy to read every word of your stories.
That’s why smaller, bite-sized chunks go down a lot easier — because donors skim. It doesn’t have to do with educational level or interest. It’s simply a function of time. If your donor only scans your story (and this applies to printed or digital pieces), she’s probably looking at things like headlines, captions, and call outs. That’s why it’s really important to include these.
Here’s how to make those bite-sized morsels of your story SING:
Say something specific. If your caption or call out could be about any nonprofit, any person helped, or any impact made, it’s not specific enough.
Inform your donor about impact. Tell them something measurable and wonderful they did because they gave.
Nix the “org speak”. If your call out, caption, or headline is about your budget shortfall, your board, or an event, DELETE and start over. Remember — this is about reporting on the impact of your donors’ giving. Do that, and they’ll want to give again.
Get in the emotion. Donors have to be touched in their hearts before they’ll reach for their wallets. They have to care. Make sure your story is authentic and heartfelt. Then make sure you pick the most compelling call outs and testimonials possible. Those are the ones donors will read — and remember.
Next month in part 11 of this series: Keeping donors hooked till the end!