I read a post on the Duct Tape Marketing blog by John Jantsch yesterday that immediately got me thinking about charities and associations.

Granted, Jantsch is talking about marketing a product or service for a for-profit small business.  But there were good ideas to grab nonetheless.

For example: As you write a fundraising letter, email, press release, landing page, text message, etc. in one way or the other you’re trying to influence the reader to do something.  To click, watch a video, make a donation, sign a petition … something!

And if you’ve been doing this for any length of time at all, then you also know that “…emotion is always the prime driver.”  You and I and everyone else, well . . . we don’t make decisions with our heads but with our heart.  That’s where the emotion comes into play.

So which emotion do you trigger? 

Jantsch states that, “… when it comes to tapping emotion, few things are more seductive than aspiration.” 

The dictionary describes aspiration as a strong desire, longing, an aim; a goal or object desired.

How does aspiration apply to fundraising or member acquisitions?

Your charity donors aspire to do good; to be a better person because they helped another person, or helped make the world better; to make a positive difference in someone’s life who needs a helping hand; and so on.

Your association members aspire to have a better career; to learn more and perhaps be more successful; to have more options; and so forth.

Therefore in your marketing and fundraising communications, use stories to show your aspiring readers how your nonprofit genuinely fulfills their desires.

> Paint a picture of how things are without your nonprofit.

> Then show how everything will be better with the reader in the picture helping move things forward.  For a charity it’s how their donations create a better future for those you help.  Demonstrate how their donations are used for good.

For an association show how the reader’s life and career are brighter because of what they gain as a member of your association.

> Wrap up by clearly asking for a donation or for them to join.

Show your prospects and supporters how your nonprofit fulfills their aspirations. Tap into this powerful emotion to demonstrate the value and good your organization accomplishes.

You’ll raise more revenue and help more people when you aspire to help your readers reach their aspirations.

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Here’s a related post: Storytelling for Nonprofits – Why it Works