Write it, type it...just jot it down!
Do you have a file -- either electronic or in a college ruled notebook -- of testimonials? Humane Society or Foodbank or anywhere in between, it's a super good idea to keep a record of good stories. Good and fruitful stories can run the gamut of happy all the way to tuggin at the ol heartstrings. Good and fruitful stories are stories that are real stories of real people in real times...and are the reason you open your doors in the morning and also the reason people give funds and time to your organization.
Imagine this boy came in to your office. He was beaming - grinning from ear to ear. He had a small Tupperware dish of strawberries from his own garden. He handed them to you and his mom asked if they could have a few minutes of your time. You said of course...you all sat down in the lobby and the boy proceeded to tell you how he purchased the strawberry plants a couple years ago with his lawn mowing money...and this was the first year they produced more than a couple berries. "And boy oh boy did they produce!" he almost shouted with delight. He went on to say that he had noticed a kid in his class that always seemed to have a growling stomach...but would never go to lunch - he said he had to catch up on homework. It was then that the boy learned that some families don't have enough to eat at home. And he wanted to help. Not just his classmate, but other hungry kids too. He took his strawberries to the local farmers market and sold them. Every cent of the profit went to the Foodbank. And he has plans to expand his garden the following year and donate the surplus from the farmers market to the Foodbank too!
Now, this is a good and fruitful (in more ways than one, ha!) story! After someone shares a story like this or sends a note of thanks or emails you...take the time to jot down the story...you may be busy...but make yourself do it! Find a special notebook...perhaps one with puppies (cute ones like me) on it...and write it out. Or type it out. Just put it somewhere else besides just in your head. Because, if you are like me, I can't remember where I buried the bone I buried this morning, let alone a great story I heard 2, 6 or 9 months ago.
You never know when you will need to use the story. Maybe on your website. Maybe in a capital campaign. Maybe in a newsletter...you just never know when someone will say...I need a testimonial. I need a real good and fruitful story.
Do you have an ongoing file to keep these sorts of real life stories?