Writing donor and volunteer profiles: the interview

Write a better story with these donor profile interview questions

Lately, I’ve been writing a large number of donor and volunteer profiles. And for me, when it comes to writing an interesting profile – a real human-interest story – it’s all about the interview.

I like to arrive with as many questions as possible, both top-level and context-specific. Here are some of my favourite top-level questions for unearthing a good donor or volunteer story:

  • When did you get involved with this organization?
  • What attracted you to the cause?
  • What attracted you to this organization in particular?
  • What are your activities and what do they involve?
  • What motivates you to stay involved?
  • In your opinion, what is the most important work that this organization does?
  • Why do you volunteer/donate?
  • Of what contribution or achievement are you most proud?
  • What do you hope the organization will achieve in the near future? In the long term?
  • Does anyone in your life play a role in supporting your involvement? In providing inspiration?
  • Do you have an anecdote about this cause/organization that really moved you?
  • What other organizations or causes do you support?
  • Do you have a message to share?

Ask everything – you can unearth some surprisingly interesting information with what seems like an obvious question. And give yourself enough time to allow the conversation to stray a little: sometimes that’s where the best nuggets and colourful anecdotes come in.

Writing a donor or volunteer profile? Unearth a good story by asking these questions. #NPMC Click To Tweet

What am I missing? Please share your donor profile interview questions in the comments!

Posted May 3, 2010 / Filed under Nonprofit copywriting how-to / Leave a comment