Self-help Tools for Improving the Impact of the Story-telling on Fundraising Success

July 12th, 2012

Story-telling, nearly everyone agrees, must now be a part of all your donor recognition efforts, beyond the exposures presented through social media and websites. I am also pleased to report that we find the use of testimonials and imaging of both donors and special events are being incorporated into traditional, facility-based donor plaques and displays like never before. This most certainly has been a fortunate out-growth of those social media and website influences.

We also see that the old-line plaque and display manufacturers, like Recognition Awards, Metal Decor and Honorcraft have begun to move into the 21st Century in their own pre-determined product lines. More and more they have begun to integrate better media inclusion since their clients are beginning to expect it.

(Still, I continue to advocate that organizations establish a stewardship process in-house, one that is focused on making changes and updates regularly. Periodic change-outs of those stories and pictures is a wonderful, cost-effective way to re-engage viewers, all of whom are prospective donors. As an example, the image above presents a display that offers quick-change ease for all of its photos and lists.)

Yet, the ease of taking pictures with cellphones and electronic notebooks also makes it just as easy to use photos of poor quality or that could have been cropped more effectively in order to emulate those that have been prepped more professionally in the past. Razoo‘s blog this week offers a terrific, quick-reference guide to on-line tools for photo editing by those not trained in more formal software methods, such as through the use of Photoshop® and other full-blown, photo-editing computer programs.  And happily, many of those shown are free!

Check it out and do make it your personal goal to focus more on the visual engagement of viewers of your donor recognition efforts. Go beyond the “tried-and-tired” approach of displaying endless lists, whether online or within the more ubiquitous “products-hung-on-walls”. Written by Robin E. Williams

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