Connect the Dots: Problem … Solution … Results

in Copywriting - Nonprofit,Marketing for Nonprofits,Storytelling

Show you care! Connect the dots for nonprofit readers.

If nonprofits don’t “connect the dots” for their donors, members and prospects … then they are NOT writing good fundraising and marketing messages.

Problem … Solution … Results

Human brains are wired to solve problems. It’s a survival mechanism: Recognize danger fast and react to protect yourself.

This also means that starting your appeal with a problem is a good way to draw readers in and get their attention. The reader’s attention is naturally – instinctively – snagged by the problem and they’re poised to solve it.

That’s why what follows next in your appeal is showing how they can help solve the problem – by making a donation. Here’s your first call-to-action and the second part of the story you’re telling.

But you have more dots to connect!

Don’t forget the results. Share “proof” on what happens with their money. Show proof that they will make a measurable difference.

And whatever you do, do NOT assume readers can figure out the results. Don’t assume they will take those few extra seconds to think about what they’re reading. Don’t assume they remember what you wrote in your last appeal.

Losing money – or raising a lot less money – is what happens when your nonprofit makes any of those assumptions.

Spell everything out and tell the complete story for your readers. And speaking of story … Hopefully you recognized that “problem – solution – results” is another way of expressing one of the basic storytelling structures.

Again, tell the whole story. Connect all the dots for them so they clearly see the whole picture.

Why must you spell it out? It’s not because they’re stupid, lazy or don’t care. You must do this because they’re busy and have a multitude of distractions and demands. You must do this so your letter or email is better than the one from the other six nonprofits they hear from.

And YOU need to care enough and work hard enough and be considerate of their time. Make it EASY for donors and members. Again, spell everything out and fill in all the blanks.

Show you care with clear, compelling and complete nonprofit messaging. Connect the dots for your readers. You’ll raise more funds too.

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