Thursday, March 13, 2014

How to write an effective testimonial

Case studies and testimonials can be a great asset to a business, but not if they are too vague or too detailed.  Here is a format I created for a nonprofit climate that has stories coming in from multiple locations and staff.

Writing an Effective Testimonial

·         First sentence:  Who, what, when, where, why

·         Second sentence:  Provide color/background/conflict

·         Third Sentence: Explain how Campaign helped

·         Fourth Sentence: Share the result/impact

·         Fifth Sentence: Wrap it up with a conclusion

·         (Optional: include a quote given by the member/participant)

Example 1:
15-year-old Jay came to [name of program] in September, 2011 because a friend told him it would look good on a college application. Jay was a C student but first generation in this country and had hopes of being able to get a scholarship to San Jose State when the time came. He couldn’t afford the cost of the program, but because of donors like you, the staff assured him he could attend.]    By this year, Jay has pulled his grades to a 3.5 average, and wants to become a lawyer, on his way to becoming President of the United States. He’s starting by running for youth governor this year. We have dozens of great stories like Jay, people whose lives are touched every time you make a donation. Watch for Jay in the future. One day, you may be voting for him!

Example 2:
Martha is a 50 year old woman whose doctor diagnosed her with [disease] who contacted [the branch or field office] in September, 2013 asking for advice on [a specialty of the organization.]  She wasn’t hopeful that she could really make a difference in her own life, wince she had a lifetime of bad habits that were making her feel worse. She also wanted to take part in a counseling program where a one-on-one counselor could help coach her, but since Martha didn’t have insurance she wasn't sure how to pay for it. Because of [fund raising program name] the cost of the program was covered by donations. Within the first 3 months, she had reached the program goals of [outline the results] and is is now attending monthly maintenance classes.  Her doctor told her she’s lowered her risk [or diminished the severity of her disease]  by 58%. She’s shared her success with everyone in her family, and because she is aware of how important it is to eat right and exercise, now has a weekly plan in place for her children.