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“Donors Don’t Care!” Part 1 presented the problem / impact storytelling technique.  Providing a clear picture of the problem – before your organization intervenes – and then describing the impact achieved creates a powerful story that engenders empathy.

Here’s an example:

  • Do you know there are children in our community who come to school crying and out-of-sorts because they haven’t eaten since lunch the previous school day? On Mondays many of these children are extremely hungry because they haven’t eaten all weekend.
  • They rush the breakfast food line at school and cram the food down so fast it comes right back up.
  • Children who don’t get breakfast often have food headaches and are too embarrassed to tell their teachers. So they puts their heads on their desks and the teacher thinks they are apathetic.
  • As a result of our work, however, these children are now coming to school happy, smiling and excited.
  • The teachers are amazed at the transformation that’s taken place and say that the students are like sponges, participating in everything and eager to learn!

Did you notice that the programs weren’t mentioned?

When a story is told in this manner, it begs the question: “How are you making this happen?” and opens the door to continuing the conversation!

  • Well, these children receive nutritious food through several of the Food Bank’s programs.  One is the Food4Kids backpack program . . . another is Kids Café . . .

In fact, telling a story in this way creates empathy in two powerful ways.

The first is the obvious change between the “before and after.”  However, the second is even more powerful.  It is the difference between the problem experienced by a person or the community – and the life of the person who is hearing the story.

  • I was fortunate to grow up in a family with a refrigerator and cabinets full of food – and provide my children the same. I cannot imagine a child going without breakfast or an evening meal, much less food an entire weekend!

I challenge you to practice telling your story in this powerful and compelling way:

  • Be as specific as possible about the problem and the impact
  • Use statistics and stories about real people (you can change names and
    revise stories to keep clients anonymous)
  • Just don’t talk about programs!

Next is “Donors Don’t Care!” Part 3 – Contrast and “Aha!” Moments.

Email me at carole@rylanderassociates.com or find more about our services at www.rylanderassociates.com