How to Tell Stories Effectively For Your Nonprofit

Everything about your nonprofit is a story and your story is a powerful tool. Your story is what attracts people to you, keeps them engaged and most importantly keeps them coming back. Think about it. You tell a story in your mission statement your history, programs, events and fundraisers and all the promotional materials that supports them. Stories are the keys to your nonprofit’s growth and success. Here are 3 ways to tell stories effectively.

1.  Make It Personal: Donors want to connect with those that benefit from your nonprofit. They also want to know how their donations make an emotional impact on someone. Instead of writing all about what you are doing in the big picture, focus in on one person that your nonprofit organization has helped or changed their lives. Donors are more motivated to help if there is an emotional connection created. Include a photo, name and some background about the person effected and include what problems they were facing. Then explain how thanks to their generous donations, this person's life is much better.

Tip:  Use photographs or videos of people you are helping so donors can form a personal connection. Keep it concise, short, sweet and entertaining.

2.  Use a Startling Fact or Stat:  When you tell your story, make sure you state the problem so readers fully understand what needs to be corrected. Once a reader is drawn in by your compelling personal story, adding facts and statistics will grab their attention even more.

Tip:  Share a daunting statistic like, "More than 13 million children in the United States go to bed hungry," and then make the statistic more personal by narrowing the number to your community to make a point that hunger is real and in your very own back yard.

3.  Give a Call To Action:  A well-developed story invites and motivates donors to play a part in solving a problem like feed the hungry, help the poor, or correct an injustice. Marketers call this a call to action, or CTA.  Make sure to always include a call to action at the end of your storytelling so your reader will know exactly what you want them to do. Make it easy and convenient for them to act right away and direct donors to your website or to information on your next fundraising event.

Tip:  Storytelling is an ongoing process. You will constantly need new stories, new messages, new testimonials and new all to action statements to engage existing and new donors to your nonprofit.

Telling your nonprofit's story helps your donors relate to your cause more, as well as get a chance to know what your organization is all about.  How will you tell your story?

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