The video — and the campaign it supports — do so many fundraising things RIGHT that it’s unbelievable. Its an object lesson in communications for a nonprofit. And here’s the thing; you can do the same thing for your cause.
Here are three things they did right that you can emulate:
- They gave the Problem a human face. They focused the beginning of their story on one young boy, Jacob. Humans (i.e., everybody watching the video) relate to other humans. We can’t relate to statistics and large numbers. Invisible Children could have bombarded us with statistics. They didn’t. They introduced us to a person. You should too.
- They showed us a specific Problem that needs to be solved. That’s the first step to any good fundraising offer; show the potential donor a compelling problem. Do you show your donors problems (that they can solve) or do you show them only successes? Show problems, ask the donor to solve them, and you’ll raise more money.
- They showed us a Solution that made sense. I thought, “They’re right, we need to get rid of this guy.” And their method for doing so made sense. Does your fundraising ask your donors to take a specific, understandable action right now that makes sense?
I bet there will be complaints. I bet the video will be lambasted by people who say they are oversimplifying the problem. I bet they’ll hear from people who say they should be focusing on some other problem. Of course there will. People disagree on how to treat homelessness. People can’t even agree on how to fight cancer.
I hope Invisible Children doesn’t pay much attention to the complaints. I hope they work like crazy to solve the problem they’ve identified.
And I hope you’re working just as hard to solve the problem your nonprofit is working on.