27/100 Things we’ve learned: Engage the power of story, ritual and symbol in fundraising
If I were to ask any professional to describe the components of a well-run fund development program, most would readily cite elements from the structural frame (e.g. a fund development plan, donor management software) or the human resource frame (“people give to people”). But, they might feel at a loss and perhaps even uncomfortable if asked to describe the elements of their symbolic strategy.
Whether you realize it or not, your organization already uses stories, rituals and symbols in fundraising. You need only look to your fund appeals, newsletters, special events, donor cultivation programs, giving societies, recognition events to find many examples of the symbolic.
The question for fundraisers isn’t how, but how effectively you infuse these rituals and symbols with the meaning and significance that will motivate donor giving and loyalty.