A good charity auctioneer knows how to rile the audience up and get the philanthropic juices flowing during the live auction portion of the evening. When it comes time to the Fund-A-Need, they know how to create a somber and emotional tone. These moments work together to move your guests to open their wallets and donate.
All Fund-A-Needs require a pitch, a speech or story to kick-off this part of the evening. The success of the Fund-A-Need, rests on the ability of the story and storyteller to evoke emotion in the audience.
Fund-A-Needs tend to rely on sadness and severe empathy. They deliberately bring the room down from the high of the live auction by talking openly and emotionally about the work the nonprofit does in the community.
Most of my clients come to me and say, “I want people to cry.” And that’s a fine approach, it’s certainly effective, but there are other emotions you might consider when planning your next Fund-A-Need.
Why not try tapping into the excitement in the room and building a sense of happiness among your guests? Instead of focusing on why your organization needs to exist, talk about all the amazing things you’ve done over the last year. Welcome a beneficiary speaker to talk about the great things your organization has done for them. Put the focus on all the good your nonprofit is able to do in the community and get people excited to help you do even more good.
It’s obvious why most nonprofits go the sadness route: it’s easier. Nonprofits exist to fill a need and more often than not this need is depressing. It’s easier to lean into that than it is to spin the story a different way. And that’s what this is. It’s a storytelling decision.
Next time you plan a Fund-A-Need, make a different choice. Lean into the positives. Make people feel good that your organization exists and get them excited to help you make people’s lives better.