Giving the Story Zing

Once a constituent tells you a wonderful story that demonstrates the heart of your organization, the next job is to hone that raw gem into words that will work best to fill the bill. You won’t change the meaning of what the person said, but you probably will find ways to say it more succinctly, emphasizing key words, painting a human picture, and focusing on a single benefit.(if you have multiple benefits to include, you may need separate speakers.)

Just two or three sentences works best. Keep the tone conversational, just as you heard it, but get rid of extraneous phrases and ideas:

“When my daughter was in a car accident at the junction of Route 40 and University Drive, the police called us from the emergency room and told us her condition was critical. They told us to come to the hospital immediately.”


Compare those to:

Winning copy for nonprofits doesn’t waste any time getting to the point, doesn’t put the reader in a fog of introductory phrases, mentions actions and people who can be visualized. This is what grabs readers across the board.

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FrontStream Holdings LLC is a registered ISO of Elavon, Inc. Georgia, Chase Paymentech Solutions, LLC, First National Bank of Omaha, Omaha, NE, BMO Harris Bank, N.A., Chicago, IL, Deutsche Bank, USA, New York, NY and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, CA.