The Power of Nonprofit Storytelling

Nonprofit Storytelling Best Practices to Help Your Mission

The greatest communicators have always been storytellers. Stories hold extraordinary power due to their ability to influence, motivate, and touch the people listening to them. Because of this, nonprofit storytelling is an effective communication tool that can be used to raise awareness, fundraise, recruit members, and so much more.

The Importance of Nonprofit Storytelling

Stories Give Purpose

Telling a good story is a way to give purpose to your mission. People want to feel invested in what they’re getting involved with. That’s why telling a compelling story about your nonprofit’s mission can provide motivation and reasoning behind your organization to potential donors. Essentially, this is a way to make your nonprofit stand out from others and give your donors context.

Stories Strengthen Connections

When stories are very moving and evoke deep emotion, they become much more memorable. Evoking these emotions causes people to feel empathetic, making them more likely to feel connected to your nonprofit and take action.

Stories Motivate People to Act

As mentioned above, emotion plays an influential role in getting people to act. When a story is powerful and causes people to feel something, they are more likely to be motivated to favor your cause, increasing monetary and gift donations.

Best Nonprofit Storytelling Practices

Be Honest

While this may seem like an obvious fact, it’s sometimes overlooked. Telling a powerful story is only successful when it’s the truth. Organizations can find themselves in hot water when they decide to stray from the facts. As a result, it’s imperative to make sure that the story you are telling is honest and real. It’s a good idea to use actual people your organization has helped.

Be Clear and Concise

A good story is a compelling one. But, we are all human and sometimes people cannot give their full attention to a drawn-out tale. In fact, Millennials only give about 12 seconds of their undivided attention, where Generation Z only gives 8 seconds. Thus, it’s essential to be concise and get to the point quick enough to catch your audience’s attention

Understand Your Target Audience

While truthful stories remain universal, it can be of value to you to understand who it is that you’re talking to. Understanding your target audience’s culture, age, and demographic can better help you craft the most effective version of your story that will resonate with them the most.

Include a Call to Action

Throughout the storytelling process, it’s important to avoid sounding like a salesperson. While the ultimate goal is to “sell” your organization’s mission, it can hinder the meaning when it sounds like the entire story is one big sales pitch. Therefore, the best way to end your account is by providing that call to action. This can allow you to wrap up your story and bring it back to your mission as a nonprofit.

To be a successful storyteller for your nonprofit, you should focus on communicating the work and achievements that your organization has obtained. By focusing on the positive work that you do and the success you aim to achieve, you are more likely to resonate with your audience. People want to feel that they are being told a story because of the power it holds, not because of the financial distress that your organization may be going through. That’s why you should avoid talking about financial distress because that can limit your storytelling effectiveness.

If your organization is looking to adopt better storytelling practices, get in touch with Dennis C. Miller Associates Inc. Their team of professionals can help your organization develop and facilitate your future goals. Contact Dennis C. Miller today!