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Testimonials Spur the Confidence & Actions You Want (Case Study)


Fundraisers like you tell me they’re always seeking more effective ways to boost giving, and build interest and action. Well, there’s no better way to do so than letting your supporters and partners do the talking…with testimonials.

Few of you use testimonials. I know because I scan nonprofit communications 24/7. But I hope to motivate you to change that with this easy-to-get-to success story from Help a Reporter Out (HARO)—a wonderful free service that links reporters with expert sources.

HARO tweeted a request for testimonials, and got stellar results (in 140 characters or less) tweeted out from Twitter followers. HARO then retweeted those briefest testimonials to its own 61,000 followers. Trustworthy referrals and exponential reach, at no cost, and little effort.

Look up top at these responses they received from satisfied customers, the first from an expert source and the second from a journalist who found the sources he needed. Far better and more believable to let prospects’ peers speak, than to try to say it yourself.

Here’s another great example, from a Boston Cares volunteer:

“It is always wonderful to see what we accomplish during our projects. We really feel like we make a difference by improving the land and beautifying the urban wilds,” said Matt Lynde, a Boston Cares project leader who works with EarthWorks Projects to spruce up and landscape wildlife sanctuaries in Boston.

But, the only way you’ll get testimonials like this is to ask…

How to Ask for Testimonials

Ask clients, community leaders, donors, volunteers and members you know are happy with your work and impact for their feedback, or ask everyone and cull the best responses. Some folks will ask you to draft something for them and/or to tell them what you’d like them to focus on (which is great). Others will provide you with a draft you’ll need to edit then share back for approval.

Either way, remember to get permission to use each testimonial when you request it and confirm when you receive it. The last thing you want to do is make a satisfied supporter unhappy.

Include attributions with full names, titles and organization when relevant, adding photos when possible—they bring the source to life. Then share out these results-oriented testimonials whenever and wherever they’re relevant.

What dos and don’t can you share on developing or using testimonials? Please share your recommendations in the comments below.

Get more guidance on developing persuasive testimonials:

The Most Powerful Marketing Copy in the World – Testimonials

Seven Steps to Compelling Testimonials for Nonprofit Organizations

How to Get Strong Testimonials for Your Organization

Nancy Schwartz Nancy Schwartz

The preceding is a guest post by Nancy Schwartz, Speaker-Author-Strategist, Nancy helps nonprofits like yours succeed through effective marketing. For more nonprofit marketing guidance like this, subscribe to her e-update at

Topics: Communications