Welcome back to our Rally 101 series of user tips. This post covers the basics of how to tell a powerful story in the About section of your page.
In the About section you explain to your supporters why you have decided to create a crowdfunding campaign. This is your opportunity to connect to your readers and inspire them to support your Rally and follow the story behind it.
You read that right: a story. You’re broadcasting your passion and want potential donors just as galvanized by your cause as you are. And people respond most deeply to stories.
We’ve included some About sections throughout this post to illustrate the wide range of stories that people are sharing on Rally.org.
Part of telling your Rally’s story involves answering some of the basic questions supporters might have when they first visit your page.
These questions will be answered in your Headline and in 1,500 characters or less in the What is your Rally about? field.
Who: The people or organization benefitting from the Rally. Highlight your connection to those people, too.
What: The project, event, goods, or services that the Rally funds will pay for.
Where: The place in which beneficiaries live, work, and play. Where you, the Rally leader, live may also be relevant. You might also have strong ties to the area that will receive the Rally donations—for instance, if it’s your hometown or where you went to college.
When: This information is important if your Rally is time-sensitive, such as if you have a deadline for gathering contributions or a set time period during which you’re leading the Rally. Or the date of an event or milestone, if you’re rallying donors for a race for charity, a holiday, birthday, or anniversary, or the start of a project or initiative.
Why: The reason you have decided to fundraise. This addresses your connection to the cause behind your Rally and its importance to you.
How: The ways in which the raised funds will be used or distributed.
Depending on your reason for rallying, your story might be uplifting, somber, surprising, or funny. Whatever your Rally is for, the best About sections are focused—they highlight an individual initiative or person that will be receiving the Rally funds.
Let’s look at your Headline. Like your Rally name and Mad Lib, the Headline should concisely give a sense of what your Rally is all about. The Headline should also be an extension of your Rally name and Mad Lib, not an exact repeat of them. Check out how the Rally Headline introduces the MINDS Foundation, a Peak2Peak 2013 Rally, and One Less Hipster, which we’ve also featured in this blog post.
In the About section you answer Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. This is where your Rally’s story begins. To get backers excited about your cause, you need a strong story. It’s the most direct and compelling way to make a good first impression.
If you’re stumped as to how to describe your Rally, think of how you might explain it to someone you like but don’t know very well (a coworker, an acquaintance) over lunch.
What are the most important pieces of information?
What’s the most interesting part of the story?
If you’re trying to entertain, impress, or evoke sympathy or anger from your lunch guest, how would you do it? That’s at the heart of how you tell the most powerful Rally story possible. When your story makes an impact on supporters, they feel connected to you and your cause and are, in turn, inspired to donate so that your Rally will succeed.
Stay tuned for the next set of pointers for creating and improving your Rally page.