Harness the Power of a Testimonial

A testimonial is a quote from a client, volunteer, donor, or community partner that explains how he benefitted from your work and your cause.

They are one of most cost-effective ways to raise awareness about your incredible work and help grow your organization. Yet so many nonprofits don’t harness their power.

Make sure you do.

Why they are so convincing

  • They ooze credibility.

    Different voices testify about the real ways you carry out your unique mission. A testimonial breathes authenticity to your audience.
  • They’re personal, putting a name and a face (if you use photos) on your cause.

  • They speak peer-to-peer.

    One member of your audience shares firsthand experience as a beneficiary of your cause with others in your audience.

Why nonprofits miss out on the impact of testimonials

  • Nonprofit leaders don’t realize how powerful they can be.
  • Nonprofit leaders don’t recognize one when they see one, even when it falls into their lap (OK, ‘fess up. Haven’t you ever had a client who said “thank you for helping me – you made a big difference,” and you didn’t write it down?)
  • Nonprofit leaders don’t have a simple, intentional system to record the good words that come their way every single day.

Why testimonials are easy to collect

  • People like their words to be appreciated.

    “Wow, those were really good words about our organization … do you mind if I take just a sec right now to write down what you said and use it on our website?”
  • People like to be asked their opinion.

    Everyone’s got one.

    When you solicit someone’s input, they feel special and important.
  • People like to be quoted. Who doesn’t like seeing their name in print? A person who provides good words in print feels like an expert.

Why you can use them everywhere

  • They’re short or long.

    Collect both.

    Edit them.

    Use a snippet of a long one when you don’t have much space.
  • They can stand alone or together.

    A testimonial can open a letter or top a web page.

    Or, you can bunch several together in long copy or in a text box.
  • They are formal and casual.

    When you have a pool you can pick one with eloquent language to use in a formal ministry presentation. A short, snappy testimonial is perfect for a postcard.

And best of all ...

They’re free! That makes this powerful copywriting element a very special animal in these tough economic times. Testimonials are not paid endorsements, rather heartfelt words from real people.

And if you want to be PC about it … they are reusable!

How to ask for a testimonial

  • Recognize them when they come your way.

  • Create a system to track and record them.

  • Add to your collection week after week and month after month.
  • Use them.

    And watch your organization grow!


More on using testimonials in your nonprofit pieces

Easy 4-step plan for collecting testimonials ...

How to get testimonials at events or when you speak ...

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