In all the nonprofit work I've done online, the two things that connect people and organizations are the good they can do together, and the chance to make a difference.
Here are three nonprofit stories, with three kinds of need and three kinds of connections.
1. Matching a pet who needs a forever home with a person who can offer one is a life-changing event for both. People who find their new best friends at Bideawee, NYC's oldest nokill animal shelter, help others make that change with their donations. Bideawee families also contribute long, detailed progress reports and photos, which are posted online and passed around by the staff.
2. Supporters of The Actors Fund, which helps people in entertainment who are in need, feel a personal connection to the performers and backstage professionals whose work yields so much delight. They show their thanks with their gifts. Gifts also come from former clients, when they rise from their fallen circumstances to a place where they can give back.
3. The Nashville Ballet brings smiles and dreams to thousands of underserved children through its outreach programs, supported by large gifts and small. "Beer at the Ballet" is a new kind of outreach program, now in its third year, teaching young professionals that supporting the arts is part of being a successful and accomplished adult.
What kind of stories do the nonprofits you support tell?
What kind of connections do they have with their clients and supporters?
See also, Seth's recent column, Selling the Benefits of Charity