This morning, I got an email from a local no-kill animal rescue. They do an amazing job with fundraising, and as a result they’ve got a larger budget than most and can make an impact that is felt throughout the community. I’m on their email list, and I just gave them $50 without even slowing down to think about it – as fast as my mouse could click, the money was there.
Why? Because they told me a story that mattered.
The email included photographs of Duke, a 3-year old St. Bernard who was found severely malnourished (he’s all liquid eyes and giant feet), with his coat matted to the point that it all had to be shaved off.
Duke has heartworms, and they said his treatment will cost $500. The email included a big button that said “Help Heal Duke.”
My first dog, a black laborator retriever named Lucky, died when I was only about 8-9 years old, from heartworms. I remember it like it was yesterday – the grief, loss and RAGE I felt. One day he was there in the back yard as he had been all my life, my constant companion, and one day he was just…gone.
I’d be damned if I was going to let this set of eyes and feet named Duke suffer the same fate.
Bringing the macro down to the micro
Now, the truth is, if I didn’t give money and other people didn’t – if they didn’t get $500 or more from that email, Duke probably would have gotten his treatment anyway, from the regular budget, which would then be depleted by $500.
I’m not REALLY under the illusion that I personally saved that dog’s life. And yet I am, because they wouldn’t have a budget if it weren’t for individual donors who were moved for some reason, any reason, to give. I knew my emotions were being triggered, and I didn’t care. I stopped what I was doing and took action.
“Give to our annual operating budget which helps 500 animals per year” just doesn’t move people to action like “Help save THIS animal, RIGHT NOW. You. Yes, you can do it, on a level that feels do-able.”
Not just for non-profits
Sure, you say – but I run a roofing company / law firm / widget factory. I don’t have stories of cute fuzzy wuzzy aminals to share.
That’s where you have to get creative. Your business fills a need, makes an impact in some way. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t be a business for very long.
Give some thought to how you can break down the big picture of what you do into the small victories you participate in for your customers and clients, every day.
Then share. I can’t wait to read your stories.