It’s common knowledge in fundraising that people give to people. Therefore, donor testimonials and profiles have become a fixture of fundraising communications.
But often, organizations will try to profile couples in their newsletters, websites, or other materials. For stewardship, this makes lots of sense. However, in telling a story that will inspire others to give, the “we” gets clunky.
“We give because the cause is important to us. It was something we bonded over when we first got together. We recently looked at our finances and decided to put our money where our mouths are.” Details are smoothed over such that they apply to both parties. Even the grammar of the “we” feels not quite right.
When using the first person, you can get a fuller picture of the individual. For example:
“I’ve always lived an active life. Sports have remained a constant since I was a kid – to this day, I ice skate and play softball and golf. I love going to different car shows all around the country – even though I don’t work for a car company, I will always be interested in them. I turned 83 years old in March. And as long as I’m capable, I’ll continue to push myself to live my fullest life. Thanks to AARP Foundation and the annuities I’ve created with them, I plan to keep living as fully as ever.”
The single-person focus allows that person to appear before the reader in more detail. You see what’s at stake, you see the direct impact the organization has had on their specific life. You even get a sense of their language and vocabulary. Essentially, they are more “human” on the page . . . and therefore more inspiring for prospective donors.