Stories are more important than metrics

I was once at a fundraising event supporting an organization that houses pregnant homeless women.

I saw one of the most incredibly generous examples of giving that night.

A “regular” couple (meaning they weren’t super wealthy) donated their house to this organization.

They were going to do some mission work for a couple of years in another country and they figured it was more important for this organization to have that property than for them to have the proceeds from selling it.


I’ve always wanted to inspire this level of generosity in my work.

Here’s the thing I’ve come to realize though:

No one decides to do something outrageously generous because…

❌overhead spend was 2% better year over year.

❌one organization was slightly more optimized than another organization.

❌the case for support had graphs that UNDENIABLY proved the worthiness of huge gifts.

People make radical, life-changing gifts because they encounter the story of a life changed.

They see suffering alleviated in a profound way.

They see hope restored in the life of one person.

And they want to bring more of that about in the world.

Do metrics help?


But they are not what causes someone to give sacrificially.

Focus more on stories and letting your donors become a part of alleviating someone’s suffering or restoring hope and joy into someone’s life.

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Kevin Fitzpatrick is the owner of One Visit Away, a consulting business helping leaders of nonprofits schedule more and better visits with their benefactors.  Kevin’s goal is to help fundraising professionals constantly seek to deepen their relationships with their benefactors.  After all, you’re just One Visit Away from growing your mission and your impact.  


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