Mentored Fundraising Assignment 11 Homework Instructions
6-Month Mentored Nonprofit Fundraising Certificate Program

Visit the course homepage:
Online Workshop: Communications & Nonprofit Fundraising in a Digital Age

This week’s resources:
Class Home Page for Mentored Fundraising

Download Class Documents: Two Page Compelling Fact Sheet
Field Guide.

Capturing Compelling Stories from the Field

Field Guide. Capturing Compelling Photos from the Field

Assignment Eleven: The Compelling 2-Page Fact Sheet
This week you are going to write a compelling story about the project or program behind your prioritized goal that you chose for your first campaign. This document will give you the basis for writing captivating content on your webpage for the campaign.

This assignment assumes that you have some background information on the project or program (project description, problem statement, goal statement, activities list, outcomes, and budget). If you don’t have some of this information you can use this assignment to write a simple fact sheet and develop the information during the writing process. It will come in very useful in talking to donors, staff, and managing the project.

Getting Started
Go to the Class Download Documents page and Download the Assignment 11 Compelling Two-Page Fact Sheet. It has been annotated with red headings that you will eventually erase. They are there to help you understand the purpose of each section and their progressive order in the document.

Go through the document and change obvious things like project names, dates and donor names; but kept the format of the document intact.

Then simply write over the top of my fact sheet to reflect your project design.

Next you will be able to cut and paste and adapt things that you have already written for this course (from a project description and from the first three assignments in this course). This will save you time and it will also make this document be parallel to your back-up documentation.

Finally, you will craft this fact sheet so that it is compelling and enjoyable to read. This will create a new window into an otherwise highly structured project outline.

Here are the annotated sections explained in detail:
Compelling Need
We need a negative compelling story line in this paragraph. Go back to your project’s problem statement and your assessment of the community’s needs. Look for any photos you may have taken. Read the field guide on capturing compelling stories from the field.

What is a compelling story? It is the human side of what we have worked so hard systematize in this course. It is the thing that pulls at a donor’s heart strings. It is the soft, intangible part of the project. It is the thing the proposed project impact is written about. It is why we are in nonprofit service.

So open up your project’s problem statement and jot down your impressions and craft a negative compelling need paragraph.

The Appeal
Donors don’t have time. So get right to the point about what you are looking for. Donations? Volunteers? Subscribers? Draw upon your goal statement, your positive impact statement, your outcomes, and your budget for this paragraph. We need a positive compelling story line in this section: a call to action! Include your project budget for the campaign.

About Your Organization
Be very careful here. Keep this short. Donors are bored to tears with state statistics, organizational charts, and organizational history. If they want it they will ask for it later. They just want to know quickly if you are capable of doing the job.

So highlight a couple of successes, mention partners you may work with so they will feel that you have a good support network, and the fact that you have experience in specific areas that will be important for this project.

How You Plan To Solve This Problem
This is a simple cut and paste from your project description/outline and your activities list.

Measurement of Success
You have two options here. If you can highlight verifiable success of projects that your organization has concluded – do that. If this project discipline is new to you, you can quickly do a little research on the Internet to find some project reports or studies to give you the kinds of success numbers you hope to expect.

Budget Narrative
The project cost comes from your budget and should match the budget figure in the appeal section. The narrative parts are your project activities. This narrative needs to present cut-and-dried information in a friendly, compelling, “act now” sort of a way.

The Conclusion
This just summarizes the six sections above.

After you have written your first draft, read it through and correct any obvious errors and typos. Then put it down for a day so that you will be fresh when you look at it again.

Your next task is to begin crafting the document so that it is well written and compelling. I may spend an hour a day over three days editing a document like this. If you get stuck, ask a friend who has editing skills to help you.

If you can’t do this in 2 pages – including two or three photos – it is too long. Ask a friend to help you edit it down to two pages. Make sure a friend reads it for clarity (a sentence might be clear to you, but unclear to the reader).

The homework to turn in will:
1. Compelling Two-Page Fact Sheet.

See you next week.

Tim Magee

Copyright © Tim Magee