7 Tips for Nonprofit Storytelling

7 Tips for Nonprofit Storytelling

Storytelling has been used for centuries to connect audiences, entertain, and inspire. It’s no wonder that storytelling plays such an important role in creating nonprofit content marketing strategies. Each organization has a unique story to share. By telling compelling stories, you not only build brand awareness but inspire others to support your work. So how can you tell a story that’s good enough to be a best-seller?

Evoke Emotion

Memorable stories evoke emotion. From empathy to hope to empowerment, you want your audience to emotionally connect. Tell stories that get at the heart of what your organization stands for—and tug at the heart strings of your audience. The more personal the stories, the more people will connect with the cause.

Inspire Action

Ask yourself; what motivates me to get involved? No doubt your answer will be stories that activate my heart and mind to join and support a cause. Remember, the actions you ask stakeholders to take need don’t need to be big- they can be as simple as hitting the share button or making a donation.

Don’t Forget the Visuals

We all know the saying –a picture’s worth a thousand words. Be it a photograph, quote, or graphic; be sure to share an image that illustrates your story.

Extra Credit: Try Canva for Nonprofits.

Tell Different Stories

Identify people in your organization who have a story to tell. Sharing a myriad of perspectives can mobilize different types of individuals and provide a well-rounded portrait of your organization. It also can attract media outlets that may be looking for specific story angles and sources. Tell stories from: Executives and staff, volunteers, grant recipients, donors and partners.

Demonstrate Impact

Stories that show the impact of your work helps others imagine how their support can make a difference. Connecting the larger act of giving to a specific individual or instance helps to personalize it.

Extra Credit: Connect a certain donation amount to the level of impact. For example: $100 dollars can buy a weeks’ worth of groceries for a family in need.

Have stories ready to go

When someone tells a story about your organization; don’t be afraid to ask if you can use it to inspire others. Collecting stories that are pre-approved and ready to go in a central location will facilitate turn-around time for media interviews, major meetings where a speaker is required, or a day where you need something to post on social media.

Extra Credit: Create a Google Doc and share it across your organization for easy access.

Don’t make it all about you

While the stories you share should represent your organization and the work it does, don’t over promote the organization. Authentic, powerful stories speak for themselves and demonstrate your contribution.

We hope these tips have inspired you to tell stories that can boost your non-profit’s outreach efforts. If you’d like to learn more about how SA uses storytelling to inspire successful nonprofit campaigns, click here to read our case studies or give us a call.

Pam Anderson
Pam Anderson, Account Executive, is responsible for executing media relations efforts as well as developing social media and marketing content strategy for clients and the agency. Pam works to support a number of clients across the agency including Understood.org, Berkshire Choral International, MIT Sloan School of Management, and Foundation for MetroWest. Pam adds valuable insight with her background in nonprofit and social media marketing. Pam received her bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Communication from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Prior to joining Schneider Associates, Pam managed marketing for a Boston nonprofit organization.