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Timing is Everything

On our last episode, James discussed James Ogilvy. Mr. Ogilvy had written a letter on behalf of the UNCF. In 1968 tensions were high. There were racial riots, the Chicago Riots, RFK had been assassinated and MLK as well.

The writing of this letter had perfect timing with unrest of the times and timing is the key to successful fundraising.

Stats and Stories

However, in critiquing the letter, James found some flaws. The most glaring was the lack of storytelling. The letter was concentrating more on statistics rather than telling a story.

The letter would have been better by adding in a story of a young black kid who was helped by UNCF. A transformational story of coming from the projects and becoming very successful would have been very powerful.

Power on any Medium

James had attended a Youth for Tomorrow banquet with his son. Terry Bradshaw was the main story-teller but he was not the most powerful. A teenage black girl talked about her life of drug addiction and then the transformation she made at Youth at Tomorrow. This was the most powerful story told.

Storytelling is also powerful in religion. Baptists draw people into their churches by their stories. People are moved by their stories of transformation. It appeals to a lot of people.  

To hear more about the importance of storytelling for successful fundraising, download and listen to Storytelling with son: Covenant House to Prophetic Bibi Letter

If you’re short on time, here are the highlights of Storytelling with son: Covenant House to Prophetic Bibi Letter:

Stories are not just direct mail (1:59)

“you’s” and “I’s”? (2:55)

Michael Evans’ story? (5:00)

A good story that didn’t work? (11:25)

Lessons learned from a Hillary Clinton letter? (17:00)

Are you too good for stories? (21:12)

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