Script Writing Wildly Successful Fundraising Events
Ever heard of Gestalt theory? It’s the idea that an organized whole is worth more than the sum of its parts. Keep this in mind when you’re writing your event night script! It will make your event far more memorable.
Your guests will leave knowing more about what you do, why you do it and how you impact those you serve. People are far more generous when they’re in the know.
Pick a Cohesive Theme + Stick With It
View your event night script as a whole. Weave a common theme throughout the entire script. Everyone who takes the stage that night – your emcee, your org’s representative, your auctioneer, your special appeal speaker – should be on the same page, figuratively AND literally. The best way to do this is with a shared script document. Everyone who’s speaking that night works from the same script, so everyone knows what’s going to happen before they speak, and what’s going to happen after. It keeps speakers on topic and helps to avoid redundancy. You have a limited amount of time to share your mission – you don’t want to spend that time being repetitive.
There’s a reason an estimated 75% of people have a phobia of public speaking. It’s an uncommon talent! To that end, selecting the right speakers is essential. Your chosen speaker might have the most compelling story of all time, but if they ramble, mumble, stumble, bumble or all of the above, no one will remember the actual story, they’ll remember the disaster. Avoid! Selecting powerful, eloquent orators is one of the top requirements for a successful fundraising event.
Keep Scripts Short
After every event, we ask our partners how the night went from their perspective. What they liked and what they didn’t. (Hopefully, you’re asking your donors the same questions! It’s essential for meaningful donor development.) A common complaint we hear is that speeches were too long, too boring or didn’t contain enough information. Guests leave not knowing much about you, your mission, or the people you’re dedicated to serving. We’ve said it before and it bears repeating – please, no long boring speeches. Keep speeches between two and three minutes, tops. Script each and every word intentionally. Make every word count. Include imagery in the form of PPTs or silent video to accompany longer speeches. This helps keep folks engaged for longer and retain more of what they’re hearing.
Words are powerful. So powerful, in fact, they can change the course of history (“I have a dream…” “The only thing we have to fear…”). Words can compel donors to give and give big – sometimes unexpectedly big! Use this to your advantage. We often hear folks say they gave more than budgeted, after being moved by a particularly powerful personal story about the work you do and the positive impact it’s having on those you serve. Are you including these meaningful “mission moments” in your event night script? Are your guests hearing the “human” angle? What will tug at your guests’ heartstrings and open their wallets? Above all else – STORIES. Well-told stories about real people. That’s how you unleash generosity!