Chances are, you are quite passionate about what your nonprofit stands for. You are likely quite skilled at communicating the vision behind your cause, and you probably have a lot of information to share. The events that you hold are the perfect place to communicate all of those valuable ideas.

And yet, in the age of information, there is a challenge. As we live in a world full of stimulation, information, marketing, and ideas that are vying for our attention, our brains tend to be overwhelmed. As a result, our attention spans have suffered somewhat.

Do you know how long the average attention span is today?

It’s 3 seconds. That’s right – just 3 seconds.

So, at nonprofit fundraising events when you have so much to say, how do you make sure your message is being heard?

Most of the time when nonprofits spend months planning a fundraising event, they feel the need to pack as much into it as they can. They feel that communicating as much information as they can will produce the most effective event and that in doing so, all of the main ideas of their cause will be heard and understood. In some cases, this is an effective approach.

However, consider this. Often when it comes to communication, there is power in simplicity. The type and quality of deliberately chosen content that is presented can be just as powerful as great big technically complicated events. This means that for some nonprofit fundraisers, the most effective events that you can have are short programs.

It’s possible – and effective – to condense your program down to a short, power-packed presentation. Simply give your guests a relaxing evening to enjoy themselves – all while keeping the focus of the event on the cause. Allow time for dinner conversations, then offer a short program.

Short programs can be made especially effective when personal testimonies are shared that reflect the vision and purpose of your nonprofit. A personal testimony gives your guests something to mentally and emotionally connect with, and it resonates long after they leave. People will remember your event and your cause when they enjoy themselves at it – so give them something to enjoy!

To sample a case study of the effectiveness of this approach, check out our story with Casa Teresa.

Using simple, deliberately chosen language and content for a short program can yield surprising results for your nonprofit fundraiser. Sometimes shorter is better!