What every non-profit should know.
Is story telling important to your organisation?
I hope, as fundraisers, your answer is YES.
Since the dawn of time humans have been telling stories, passing tales from one generation to another through voice, gestures and expressions. It’s still hard-wired into our brains, and it’s something non-profits capitalise on today.
We share emotionally-charged stories because we know their power. They can stir emotions, move people to action, affect human rights and even save lives.
But can we amp them up and give them a place in the world so more people can hear them and respond?
Many charities are looking for new ways to engage deeper with donors, particularly given the current climate of bush fires and natural disasters – see our latest post for more. One way they’re doing this is through podcasts.
What’s so good about podcasts?
Podcasts amp up the donor journey experience.
In a nutshell:
- Podcast awareness is high: 91% of Australians 18-75 know about podcasts.
- Listeners tune in frequently: 65% have listened in the last 24 hours.
- Listeners are engaged: 80% will listen to an entire episode and 61% will take action after.
We’ve already gone on about the beauty of podcasts in a previous blog post – how they move with you, how sound adds emotion unlike any other medium, how they attract the wealthy and educated.
So let’s get stuck into HOW you can use podcasts to further your cause.
Attracting new donors is a universal struggle. It’s often expensive, time-consuming and labour-intensive.
Think about the time and money spent perfecting an acquisition pack for example – the concepts, design, words, printing. After all that, you have no control over who reads it or if they’ll even open it.
So what if we told you there was another, more cost-effective method? A story telling powerhouse that had the ability to connect deeply with a captive, highly-engaged audience in an intimate setting?
You might think it’s too good to be true. But you’d be wrong.
Podcasts are a golden opportunity for charities because they open you to an entirely new and global audience.
Unlike those who have been flagged down in the street or sent an unsolicited appeal, those tuning in to a podcast do so because they choose to. It’s content they’re interested in at a time that’s convenient for them.
Already you’ve overcome a huge hurdle. Because of this, they’re more likely to get to the end with zero distractions, and take direct action.
The biggest weapon in any retention strategy is good old story telling. In fact, research suggests that we remember information far better when it’s conveyed as part of a narrative rather than facts alone.
And we all know how crucial it is to take donors on a journey once they’ve signed up to do something for your cause. They have a right to know how their money is being spent after all.
Things like impact reports, newsletters and invitations to community fundraising events are all fantastic ways to communicate the good stuff you’re doing with a donor’s hard earned coin.
But engagement cannot stop. If it does, be prepared for supporters to lapse and cancel.
This is where podcasts can be extremely effective. It’s an engagement tool for BOTH retention and acquisition that appeals to everyone, regardless of age, gender or socio-economic background.
If you plan to do a series, for example, you can map out content to work alongside your existing strategies – all of which will build loyalty and, you guessed it, engagement.
What type of content works best for retention?
The possibilities are endless.
Let’s say your non-profit is all about research into breast cancer and support for those impacted. You could:
- Interview researchers and talk about how their discoveries, funded by donors, will make an impact for listeners.
- Interview those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer for an emotional pull unlike any other.
- Get your leader, founder or executive to share their thoughts around a recent tragedy, breakthrough or event.
- Invite expert guests on your show, or book yourself in to other podcasts, to help your non-profit emerge as an authority in a certain space.
Look for stories that can be shared as narratives or interviews and find people who are passionate about your cause – great story tellers will hook your listeners and help share your message.
I want to do a podcast, but where do I start?
The Good Space is Australia’s first podcast production agency for the non-profit industry.
If you’d like to chat about how podcasts can work with your fundraising strategies – how they can spark conversations, empower people to action and inspire a new generation to stand up and drive change – we’d love to hear from you.