Storytelling Techniques: Telling Your Nonprofit Story

posted on July 20, 2020

The best way to convey information is through the art of storytelling. So, for nonprofits, understanding storytelling techniques is essential. Remember, often, you want people to do fundraising or donate to your cause, without getting anything in return other than a good feeling. So, it’s vital in nonprofit marketing to understand that there is an innate need for humans to feel a connection to other people. Providing the public with your organization’s facts and figures are essential. But if you seek to have people donate to your charity, you need to tell your story—well.

Supporters want to know the statistics and results, but calling them to action means providing a narrative that offers a deeper understanding of those involved with you. And by that, we mean not only the mission you serve but also your nonprofit story.  You need to connect the public with the accounts of those involved using your storytelling techniques. For example, other areas of focus aside from those served include board members and also featuring your donors, including both major donors and also smaller donor supporters.

Nevertheless, telling a story is not easy. For instance, you don’t want your story to be pretentious and egotistical. Also, it helps if you make it compelling for donors to support. And that’s why we have the following essential things to keep in mind for the art of storytelling.

The Art of Storytelling Starts By Keeping It Simple

If people don’t understand what you are trying to communicate, they won’t get become involved. The first rule of the art of storytelling is to know how to tell your story—simply. So, one thing you and your marketing team could do is to start by learning to share your nonprofit in one paragraph. Once you get well-versed and practiced in explaining what you do in one paragraph, everything else comes much easier.

Put a Face to the Name of Your Nonprofit

The best way to tell your story is through imagery. So, in the age of social media, that means that you have to get good at sharing the right photos and videos. In your board and staff profiles, use pictures. Make sure you also use photographs and video images of the work you do so that people can connect with diverse people within the nonprofit. Sure, we know that social media is always evolving, and that’s just part of the digital age. So, that doesn’t mean that you stop learning. Thus, if you want to learn some of the best ways to master social media, read about the future of social media.

Storytelling Techniques Mastery Include Short Stories

Depending on the work you do, make sure to have plenty of stories of those you serve. But, as we shared above, the art of storytelling includes your entire nonprofit story and the idea of rebuilding together. And so that means sharing stories about your board, teams, and also your donors. You see, when you share multiple short stories about different segments of people, followers start to understand the whole picture. By communicating all of these types of stories in various ways, the public sees your mission in action. Further, other people get inspired to act because they see themselves, in some way, in the work you do.

Thread Through the Facts and Figures Too

In today’s nonprofit sector, donors want to know the societal issue you seek to solve. Further, for you to demonstrate nonprofit impact, you have to show the metrics of the work you do. However, the storytelling techniques mean that you have to bring “life” to the numbers. And that’s why sharing human stories is so vitally important. So, remember in everything you share that the impact statistics have to get intertwined and connected to the lives of the people served. When you have those two ingredients, donors and the public understand the fuller picture of your work.

Be Emotive and Remind People YOU MATTER

Marketers have known the secret of emotion for decades. So, the art of storytelling means you don’t want to tell a dry, fact-based narrative. You want to speak to people’s feelings, and this, in turn, helps motivate people to become involved and support your nonprofit. There’s another essential element to the mix of emotion; you have to value everyone. For instance, our CEO always speaks to the idea of YOU Matter. Meaning, it’s essential to appreciate each and every person. Your nonprofit should find an emotive idea that is meaningful to you and the work you do.

Finally, always make sure your marketing material (e.g., website, brochures, social posts, etc.) is always perfect and, again, easy to read. Mastering storytelling techniques means you understand how to communicate succinctly, compellingly, and with emotion and urgency.


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