It’s so easy to end up telling this story:
This is who we are.
This is what we do.
This is why we do it well.
This is what we need.
Can you help?
When we should be telling this one:
This is how the world looks today.
This is how it could look tomorrow.
This is why this matters.
This is proof that we have what it takes to get from here to there.
Let’s make this happen together.
In the first approach, full of good intentions, we make the classic mistake of focusing on, and talking about, ourselves. Good students to the end, we promise you that we’ll do a good job if you’ll just (please!) trust us with your support. It is, literally, self-centered.
Instead, our opportunity is to pull ourselves out of the center of the story, to paint a bigger picture of the world as it could be, and describe how we can partner to make a change.
As good and as important as our work is, we are not the protagonists in this story. We are the enablers of the change.
(Bonus: Pixar’s 22 Rules for Storytelling, visualized, via Swissmiss. It includes #7, “Come up with your ending before your figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.” For our purposes, let’s remember that the ending cannot just be “So, can you fund us?”)