What Fundraisers Can Learn from Trip Advisor and Angie’s List

News | January 14, 2016

by Barbara Haupt, President of MiniMatters, LLC

Surprise! The best way to tell your story may be for YOU not to tell your story at all. The best way may be to let someone else tell your story. Why? And how do you do that?

Websites and online communities such as Trip Advisor and Angie’s List have become successful largely because they aren’t based on expert, curated, or paid reviews; they’re based on reviews by real people with first-hand experiences. Other people will generally trust and believe these unvarnished, unpaid for reviews more than reviews from the hotel, restaurant, or other merchant.
So how does an organization get such authentic stories? How does it capture the voice of someone with real, first-hand experience with your organization? The key is for not for you, your CEO, Board President, or staff to tell the story. Instead, find real people who have benefited from your organization.

Here are a couple examples.

The AAMI Foundation’s primary mission is to improve patient safety through the advancement of medical technology management. To encourage members to support the foundation, they wanted their members to share what they find valuable about the foundation’s work. Take a look at the video, “What Makes Our Work Unique”.
AFG itself wanted to recruit new members and found that one of the best ways was to let members speak for themselves about the value they get from AFG.  Having a member speak is much more authentic and powerful than having a staff or board member expound on the benefits of joining.

So the next time you’re thinking of telling your story, look around to others who can testify to the value of your organization. It’s easy and natural to capture them at a conference or meeting – at a time they are engaged, enthused, and ready to spread the word for you.
For more tips about video storytelling, please visit, MiniMatters Video +Marketing.

Join Mail List

Join our mailing list and sign up for AFG reminders!