It's imperative for the success of your organization that you master the art of making a fundraising speech. An effective presentation maintains your donors' interest and leads naturally to the "ask." People expect someone from your organization to tell them something meaningful at a fundraising event. Here's how to write a strong fundraising speech.
Collect all the information you can about your organization's work. This should include case statements, annual reports, newsletters, direct mail letters and website content. Even if you're the executive director, it's important you review the materials that are reaching your donors.
Consider the purpose of the fundraising event. Write a speech that addresses any concerns your donors may have about the work you're promoting at the event. You want to dispel their doubts about supporting your work.
Pick a focus for your speech. Donors like to hear about specific activities for specific beneficiaries. For a general-purpose annual campaign, pick one aspect of your work you've been promoting all year or that you intend to promote next year and concentrate on that.
Open your speech with a story. You have 30 seconds or less to convince your donors to keep listening. While there are other techniques to opening speeches such as offering statistics, asking a controversial question or quoting someone; none reach your listeners' hearts like an effective story.
Write down the most important points you wish to make concerning the focus you've chosen. You don't want to include too many as a shorter speech is always better than a longer one, but make sure you answer all of your donors' unasked questions.
Organize your main points by mentioning how you've dealt with the issues in the past, your current work in this area and your hopes for future development. You can also ask journalistic questions like "who," "what," "when," "where," "how" and "why" to organize your discussion.
Close your speech with your "ask" but remember your audience. People expect you to ask for money at a fundraising event, but church members you've known personally for years need to be asked differently from major donors for an international cause.
Write your fundraising speech in short sentences and simple language as people's minds at an event aren't geared for anything too complex.
- writing image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com