Why Voice and Tone Might Be the Secret Sauce to Social Fundraising Success

Gary Wohlfeill

Finding donors on social media comes down to being true to yourself and your cause. How do you make sure you’re doing that? By having a consistent voice and tone. Gary Wohlfeill explains how you can in today’s post. ~Kristina

Guest Post by Gary Wohlfeill, Director of Marketing at CrowdRise

Nonprofits are used to holding their narratives close to the chest — “this is who we are, what we do, and we’d love if you’d rally behind our cause.” But now, thanks to the digital and social takeover of just about, well… everything, even fundraising has become collaborative

Supporters are now taking the missions derived by organizations and nonprofits, and are adding their own personal twist onto the message. (“Because I had this personal experience in my life, I support this organization and what they stand for.”) And the nonprofits that are supporting this shift to social fundraising are the ones that are finding huge success.

So how can nonprofits encourage social fundraising, without supporters losing sight of an organization’s true mission and the guiding light that drives their cause? The key is strong voice and tone throughout all messaging — especially your mission statement.

Voice and Tone 101

Your organization’s voice and tone are two of the most crucial factors in helping your messaging, your cause and your brand stand apart from the rest. Think of them as unique identifiers that make you YOU.

If your logo was removed from your website, or your social accounts were stripped of their profile pictures, would your supporters be able to read your content and still recognize that the messaging came from you? If so, you have a strong voice and tone.

But how do these two elements differ from one another?

Your brand’s voice is constant. Think of it as the personality of your brand. It’s the same across all platforms — from a casual post on Twitter to a formal press statement. Your voice should help people identify something as uniquely you.

Your brand’s tone can flex. Think of it as the mood of your brand. It helps you speak specifically to different audiences, and changes slightly based on different goals or objectives you may be going after.

Why You Should Care

Let’s get right to the heart of why these brand elements are important in social fundraising specifically. As we mentioned earlier, thanks to the internet, our causes have become so much bigger than ourselves and our organizations… and therefore, so has our brand messaging.

“These days, the voice of the consumer is amplified like never before,” a Forbes article reported. “Social media networks (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) provide consumers with easy outlets for observations, opinion and debate, and that means our brands are increasingly controlled by the general public.

This is why it’s more important than ever that your voice and tone travels with your brand — so your mission remains consistent, even when the story is no longer your own

The Essential Voice and Tone Checklist

To make sure that your organization’s mission has a voice and tone that inspires and engages (and leads to better fundraising), ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is it understandable? Your message should be clear and consistent across the board.
  • Is it relatable? Anyone (even diverse audiences) should be able to identify with your messaging.
  • It it adaptable? Supporters should be able to make your messaging their own and give them something to aspire to replicate.
  • Is it filled with personality? While your mission should be adaptable, it should also have a strong narrative that is uniquely you.
  • Is it for everyone? Your mission isn’t just for your organization. It should evoke emotion, passion and drive in others who are moved to support your cause.

It’s no secret that social is the future of fundraising. But if you want to create a mission that inspires others to replicate, crafting a strong voice and tone is the key to unlocking an army of impassioned supporters for your organization.

Gary Wohlfeill is the Director of Marketing at CrowdRise. He works with partners to develop highly engaging fundraising campaigns, and leads the marketing team in developing the CrowdRise brand. Gary has been named as having the “3rd best haircut of people under 6 feet tall at CrowdRise” and hopes one day to slip to 4th.



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Author: Kristina Leroux, Community Engagement Manager

I am the Community Engagement Manager at Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com.

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