A few years ago, I was at a restaurant that had a lobster tank at the front by the hostess stand. While we waited to be shown to our table, a family walked in, and a little girl immediately walked up to the tank and started naming all the lobsters.
I don’t remember what I had for dinner that night, but I know it wasn’t lobster.
Names are powerful.
Once you know someone’s name, they aren’t a stranger or just a face in the crowd. They’re a person. Someone who has family, who has likes and dislikes, who has fears and dreams.
That’s why you should always use names when telling a story in your fundraising appeals.
If you need to have a disclaimer telling your donors you changed the name for privacy, that’s fine—donors understand that and won’t bat an eye. But by having a face and name to your cause, you’ve made it personal to the donor. It creates a connection between the donor, your organization’s cause, and the donor’s impact.
If you haven’t been using names, try it. Make it personal.