trust. /trəst/. noun

1. A firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. “Relations have to be built on trust.”

synonyms: confidence, belief, faith, certainty, assurance, conviction, credence

I made a trip to the mailbox this week and found that year-end fundraising season is officially underway. There were lots of appeals. And my e-mail inbox looks much the same.

Thirty percent of all annual donations occur in December, according to MobileCause. Twelve percent occur the last three days of December. That’s a lot of money.

I’m puzzled why some of these organizations are asking me for a donation. I’m as charitable as the next person, but I don’t KNOW them. I’m much more likely to donate if we have a relationship — preferably a personal one.

Then there’s trust. I am very aware I have trust issues. Apparently, I’m not alone. The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer found a record-breaking drop in trust in the U.S., particularly for institutions, including those in the health industry.

Trust also impacts healthcare experiences. Patients who trust the institution (and its physicians, leadership and other care providers) are more likely to be satisfied, more likely to recommend, and more likely to donate. Can content help with trust issues?

Here are five WriterGirl tips for creating content that helps build and maintain trust:

  1. Use consistent, concise language and messaging with a focus on results. Streamline and choose messages that specific donor segments will relate to.
  2. Leverage your own content. No one tells your story as well as you do. Plus, bonus points for authenticity.
  3. Offer timely solutions to challenges your donors are facing. Something as simple as offering directions around an onsite parking renovation will leave a positive impression.
  4. Ask yourself what you would want to know or how you would want to be treated. Put yourself in the donor’s shoes to add authenticity and a human touch.
  5. Include results that show the impact/ROI of past gifts. And share grateful patient stories.

Do you have examples to share how your foundation utilizes content marketing to build trust with donors? Tell us about it