Success stories skip the boring pie charts and cut right to your nonprofit’s real world results — a starving child with a bowl of rice, a woman with an easier way to draw water, a man with a job. Success stories are the “social proof” that can turn your prospects into donors.
Scan the two appeals below. Which one inspires you to donate?
If you chose the last appeal, you’re in the majority. Psychological studies reveal that most donors are inspired to give by emotion. And success stories make it easy for your prospects to feel, because:
Success stories have never been more important, or easier to obtain. All you need is an ordinary camera and a little time.
Discuss success stories with your team, and especially those members who directly provide services. Ask your clients to share their stories and provide consent for photos – especially the clients who have been most helped by your program.
One five-minute video interview with a happy client may be viewed thousands of times online. Success stories posted on social media have the potential to drive more traffic to your website. A photo and a client story can also be a powerful addition to your newsletter, mailed appeals, and annual report.
In the end, people want to hear about people – not programs or statistics. Tell stories about your happy clients, and how your program helped them overcome their obstacles, and your nonprofit will be on the way to a “success story” of its own!