Tuesday, 23 November 2010

If a picture paints a thousand words...

As the song lyrics go 'if a picture paints a thousand words, then why can't I paint you..' Lovely as the sentiment is, have you ever tried to describe a picture or visual content in such a way? It poses an interesting and actually quite useful challenge.

The technique of Audio Description does just that. It is used as a way of capturing the visual elements of a production for blind or visually impaired people. It is quite a skill(as is it a valuable service) and the essence of which, I think as fundraisers we could all learn from.

So, why not challenge yourself? Have a look at some footage on your website or even take a look at a photograph that you may plan to include in a feedback piece and see whether you can describe the scene in a meaningful, motivating and descriptive way for your own audience. Verbally or even in writing.

It is not as easy as it sounds - but being able to do it could not only improve your own story telling and communications but also your understanding of what are the most meaningful elements of them for your supporters.

It is definitely worth a go!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

What Christmas shopping has to do with fundraising.

I was struck by a small article in the The Sunday Times Magazine this weekend which asked the question 'Is it okay to recycle presents?'

Now, I can honestly say I have never done it myself - but then I am sure I have received a recycled gift at some point - mainly because you tend to know i.e. that feeling of 'what the..., they don't know me at all..' All the more annoying for someone like me who loves to buy presents for people and actually goes to a lot of trouble in selecting gifts that I know my friends and family will love.

However, despite this being a cautionary warning ahead of your Christmas shopping it also has a very useful reminder for fundraising too.

Choosing a gift should be about empathy, about how much we understand the person we are buying for. We should first start with the person NOT with what to buy them and the same can be said about our communications to supporters. Starting with the supporter and not the communication.

Find out about them and what they want. Their interests, their likes, their dislikes. Take time to tailor messages. Produce materials that people want to receive and you will be giving the gift of information, inspiration, education, and a sense of making a difference. And as a result we may get a wonderful gift in return: happy, committed and loyal supporters.

Happy Giving!!