We all remember those elementary school days when you had to fundraise for the classroom. All you needed to do was smile, give a one-minute embarrassing pitch, and hope that your family friend or neighbor found you adorable enough to donate a few dollars to your cause. While times have changed and the causes have altered, the concept for fundraising is the same. Donors look for that unique differentiated personable communication before they decide to donate. When you are fundraising for a cause, you are not just selling an idea, but also selling yourself.
So how do you fundraise? How can you make that sale?
One thing to remember is that personalization is a big key in gaining donor support. Like it or not, the minute you start talking, you become the spokesperson, the face, and the poster child for your organization. It is your job to captivate the crowd with your charisma and attitude. Be informative, but not too serious. And as always, be sympathetic. Think of this as if you are telling a story. If you were to look at the strongest fundraising campaigns, you would see how a majority of them start off with a story. It is that story that provides the necessary emotional appeal to get that person over the hump to donate.
Below, you will find five key concepts that can help you sell your idea. These helpful tips will guide you in creating a stronger, organic, and rich campaign for your organization to thrive on.
Before you start with your story, you want to make sure you know all of the facts. Providing valid and sound facts, statistics, and data about your cause can only aid you in your process. In addition, having this type of information gives your pitch stronger credibility. To do this, start with the bigger picture. Brainstorm your subject and write down information about the cause itself. Make sure you do your homework and provide an adequate amount of research. If possible, try and speak with one of the leaders of the campaign to gain more insight on the cause. The more you know about your topic, the more confident you will be providing this information to a layperson.
Articulate WHY the cause is important
Be absolutely clear in your pitch on the problem. Addressing the issue for your cause can oftentimes be overlooked in speeches. This type of problem happens because presenters usually assume that the audience already holds some type of knowledge on the topic. Do not make this assumption. The best way to nullify this problem is to assume that every person is a novice to the topic. When you are actually presenting the problem, make sure you are able to provide an adequate amount of information of why this concept is important. People can sometimes overlook the importance of the cause which can then sway their decision when donation. Stress the whys and play on the emotional appeal.
Show They are an Asset
Involving the audience throughout your pitch is a great way to get your audience engaged in your idea. In addition, discussing what impact they can have through their donations is something that should always be mentioned in any speech. People want to know what they are donating to. Make sure they are aware of that.
Become a Master Storyteller
As stated before, you are a storyteller. It is your job to get the crowd hanging on every single word. This idea of connecting with the audience’s head and emotion will play to your strengths as a public speaker. Utilize your body language to provide that vibrant message. In addition, throughout your speech, know when to pause, when to stress, when to be excited, when to be sad, and when to be angry. It is these acting techniques and social awareness that will allow you to captivate a crowd with simply your words.
Know Your Crowd
This is the idea of leveraging your strengths. Make sure you do your homework on the group you are talking to. Often times, you are going to need to change your story for a particular group. While the story changes, the message is the same. To change the story, you need to know the audience you are speaking with. For example, the way you would talk to a corporate event versus fresh college graduates about donating to their university will be a completely different situation. Look more into the person or groups career progression and pinpoint certain topics that can heighten their awareness.
Practice Makes Perfect
Now you have all heard this phrase before. But at the end of the day, it makes sense. Practice does make perfect. The more times you say your pitch, the more times you get a chance to internalize it. Having a deeper understanding of your speech can make you aware of the strengths and weakness of the entire situation. In addition, once you are able to internalize your pitch, you will be able to manipulate and optimize your speech to the most effective manner.