HOW DO WE TELL OUR STORY WITHOUT BECOMING THE SOLE CENTER OF ATTENTION?

Of all the stories organizations tell, the not-for-profit world generally has the most compelling, the most meaningful, and in some ways the most important. Non-profits invariably serve a high cause, sacrificially serving “the last, the least and the lost” and usually relying on the generosity of others to accomplish their mission to make some dent in a broken world.

Unfortunately, as worthy and admirable as these causes are, most non-profits fall down badly in telling their story effectively. While admittedly an over-simplification, the typical donor message is a simple two-part affair, combining “We’re doing something really important” with “…but we’re impoverished, so please help us or we won’t make it.”

Can this message be effective? Yes – many non-profits survive and thrive despite this particular weakness, usually because the cause finds a way to shine through. However, as all non-profits have observed, increasingly sophisticated donors and foundations expect more in a world where demand for their support grossly exceeds supply. And it isn’t just the cry for more “outcomes” data—effective, compelling and inspiring messaging is an ever-more critical priority for the Development function.

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The donor message is a unique and complex paradox. We need to tell the compelling story of our mission and vision, but at the same time we need to remain thoroughly “donor-centric.” How do we tell our story without becoming the sole center of attention?

THE ORATIUM ANSWER

Oratium provides a powerful, tools-based approach to donor message design, which allows an organization to tell its story richly and effectively, yet in a truly “donor-centric” way. Delivered either as a 1.5 day training workshop, or embedded as a fully collaborative consulting process, the Oratium approach puts effective donor messaging within the reach of all organizations.

You have a great story…and a great story is worth telling well.

LET’S GET STARTED OUR SERVICES IN DETAIL

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At United Way of Yellowstone County, we struggled with knowing how to best communicate with potential donors within a very tight 10-minute messaging window. By working with Oratium, we took a dry, sender-centric message that wasn’t really connecting…and replaced it with an impactful, story-driven approach that increased donations over 10%, and brought in a surprising number of new donors.
Gayle WhittenbergDirector of DevelopmentUnited Way