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Why Successful Storytelling Works for NonProfits

NonProfit storytelling

Great storytelling takes your fundraising ask from fine to fantastic.

Donors connect with stories, not facts. Facts are forgettable, stories are forever.

The right story makes your heart swell with the emotion! It is a heart-stopping moment that makes you realize you must help now and want to be a part of the solution.

Are You Telling Your Nonprofit's Best Stories?

Do you make your story about one person, one pet, one child, one sick child?

Do you make your donor central to the story as the hero or Shero?

Are you creating a culture of storytelling in your organization. Are you Collecting stories on an ongoing basis. Are you Sharing these stories on a regular basis -- at your staff meetings, board meetings and with volunteers?

Why Storytelling for Nonprofits is So Effective

Human beings love stories. We imagine ourselves sitting around the campfire, our minds and hearts totally captured by a compelling adventure,'wondering how it's going to end.

Stories create a personal connection. Stories win our hearts. Once we hear a compelling story, we want to become a part of the story! We want to help!

A powerful story within your organization will inspire potential donors to become loyal donors.

What makes you a great fundraising storyteller?

What Makes a Great Nonprofit Story

The first thing an effective story needs is an individual protagonist.

Donors want to connect with an individual, whether your nonprofit's main character is a little kid or a couple of dogs. You've got to put one character front-and-center.

Remember, a good story has a beginning, a middle and an end

Set the scene, describe what happened, introduce a conflict and then work towards a resolution.

You will find success by leaving the story "unresolved." the story is unfinished until your donor enters. You invite the donor to create the happy ending and Empower your donors to become the stories hero.

Storytelling Tips for Fundraising Success

  • Introduce the main character (an individual to connect with); we are much more likely to be moved to action by an individual than a large group. Include details, pictures or video if possible.
  • Begin With a startling fact or statistic then relate it to your "character."
  • Immerse your audience in a moment of conflict. Tell the story in a heart touching way.
  • Be descriptive. Share the sights, sounds, scents, tastes, and sensations. Let those details evoke emotion rather than telling the donor how to feel.
  • Include your donor in the story. Show them how they can make a difference. Give them the chance to team up with you to support the protagonist.
  • Make your cause a quest.
  • Any obstacles that impede your quest may serve as "the villain."

In the words of Maya Angelou, "Maya Angelou: "People will forget what you told them. They will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel."

Our supporters and our donors remember our message when it makes them feel something.

Facts, figures, and statistics support your cause but donors forget facts.

donors connect with your story, it becomes personal. The donor feels empathy and sympathy. She take action. He joins your team!

Need more tips, ideas, strategies and stories to up your fundraising game? Subscribe to my YouTube channel or my newsletter!

More storytelling resources:
why storytelling works for nonprofits

Vanessa Chase, Network for Good State Of Storytelling in the Nonprofit Sector White Paper

Nonprofit Storytelling Conference, Steven Screens and Jeff Brooks for the NonProfit Storytelling Conference

Allison Gauss on www.classy.org

Nonprofit Storytelling Tips From the Pros, SocialBrite

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