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Paukwa? Pakawa!

When you think back to many of the cultures, beliefs and practices you know of, does a story come to mind? I bet that a story does come to mind. This familiarity is a subtle resemblance of the togetherness stories results in us. Further storytelling and fundraising are very similar as they are both human-centred.

Understanding this, we had an exciting discussion on The Power of Storytelling in Fundraising, graced by Eunice Kilonzo and Matt Roberts. We explored how we can use this powerful, dynamic and impactful tool to influence the success of our fundraisers. Here are some of the tips that stood out for us during the session;

Stories are about Power, Emotions & Impact

A stories superpower is its capacity to influence, elicit emotions and demonstrate impact. While writing your fundraising story, be sure to:

  1. Understand its power.
  2. Leverage an appropriate emotional appeal.
  3. Explicitly tell what will be the result of someone donating their money to your cause.

As you write your story, make sure it connects with your potential donor/ reader.  

The 6 components of a good fundraising story

What is the recipe for a compelling fundraising story? 

  1. The people/ voice – Who is telling the story? Ensure you own your voice and that you keep it clear/ unequivocal.
  2. The problem/ conflict – What is the challenge you are trying to solve? 
  3. The so what? – Why is it important to solve this? What will happen if this challenge is not solved? Who will benefit?
  4. The impact – What will your donation do? What positive change will happen to the subject?
  5. Call to action – is the most important and should be very clear. Explicitly tell your potential donors what you want them to do; now that they fully understand your cause.
  6. Truth, authentic & personal – the story needs to be about you genuinely. When it truly is about you, then it most likely will connect with your donor. 

What are the storytelling formats you can use to tell your fundraising story?

With the benefit of story, video and image personalization features on M-Changa, you will be able to tell your fundraiser story using these three formats simply. For images, you could get creative and create graphics with Canva or demonstrate impact by sharing photos of what the funds raised will or are doing.

Other storytelling formats could include storytelling campaigns using hashtags, Podcasts, adverts, and Branded items such as t-shirts & mugs. Barazas can also be an effective way of sharing your fundraising story if you are an organization or business working with communities.

What should I avoid while writing my fundraising story?

To ensure that your story is enough for your potential donor, you can avoid; 

* Use of Jargon specific to your area

*Use of abbreviations that are not easily understandable in everyday communication

*Too many statistics. You should humanize the statistics and keep them simple

*Use of cliché words and phrases

*Copy-pasting people’s stories just because the story worked for them

*Use of deceit and

*Sensationalism. Do not exaggerate something; it brings up questions on your authenticity. 

Now that you have these tips, WHAT IS YOUR FUNDRAISING STORY? As you think through your story, make sure to keep these story writing tips in mind. Click HERE for the session’s audio recording and HERE for the video recording to listen in on the entire discussion. Register your mobile fundraiser by dialing *483*57# or an online fundraiser by clicking HERE.


M-Changa is a Kenyan online and mobile  fundraising platform that was launched in 2012 to make fundraising more convenient, more efficient and more secure than the traditional Harambee. To date, over 46,303 fundraisers have raised millions of dollars from over 901,015 contributors. 

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