Nonprofit storytelling is important in making you unique and different from the crowd. In most cases, donors are less concerned with your organization or what it offers and the impact made in society due to their donations. Therefore, understanding this social impact gives the donors the feeling that they are creating a difference. This means you have designed ways to convey the nonprofit’s impact such that the donors feel inspired. This can be accomplished through storytelling, as discussed in the following sections of this article.
Nonprofit Storytelling Receives More Donations
The positive significance of nonprofit storytelling has been discussed for a couple of years, as shown by extensive research. The work done by nonprofits is unrelated to average support or assistance. On the contrary, the storytelling mainly highlights the people who are served and those who support and help us. This is done with the assumption that other people will resonate with the story and develop an urge to be connected with the organization. On the other hand, avoiding using storytelling is likely to lead you to tell people about the programs that your nonprofit organization provides. In doing this, you may end up highlighting certain programs that your audience cannot understand and their impact on their lives.
For this reason, it is recommended to take the storytelling approach to communicate the information regarding the services provided by your nonprofit, as well as their social impact. In this way, people are likely to understand the meaning and social significance of a nonprofit because stories give the necessary meaning and context to facts and information. Furthermore, stories allow donors to be emotionally and intimately connected to your organization’s impact, resulting in more donations.
There are various reasons why stories are compelling, and understanding these reasons makes storytelling seem scientific. Some of these reasons are discussed in the following section.
If you are considering embarking on the project of nonprofit storytelling, it is essential to know and understand the story’s intended purpose. This includes what you intend to achieve, what feeling you want to impart to your readers, as well as their reaction towards that feeling. It is better to develop a definite purpose for your nonprofit storytelling or risk leaving your readers feeling more confused.
Good stories should have details that bring out the full picture of whatever is being talked about in the mind of the reader. If this is not the case, then the story ends up being flat and boring to the reader, and the intended message is not communicated.
Another factor that contributes to a compelling story is the emotional content within it. Using emotional words and contexts makes a story a powerful and effective tool for use by nonprofit organizations. This is because emotional content quickly resonates with the readers’ minds, making them interested in knowing more about what is being communicated.
The 5 Steps in Creating a Meaningful Story
The process of creating and telling stories may seem challenging when you do not know the exact content that will make an impact on the audience. This is why we have compiled the following 5 steps to help you create meaningful stories.
1. Know the Message You Intend to Pass
You need to clearly define and understand the kind of message you intend to send out to your audience. This could be a message of awareness or a fundraising goal. Therefore, it is crucial to pose and identify the purpose of your story and the message to be communicated because this clarity is vital for simplifying the story creation process.
2. Know Your Audience
After defining your intended message, the next step is defining and knowing your target audience. In this step, you may consider which people you want to receive your message, as not everyone will be interested in your nonprofit storytelling. Come up with clear characteristics of the audience you are targeting, as this will help narrow down your ideas to only important and direct facts and information.
3. Determine the Type of Story You Need
In this step, you need to know the source of the story you want to craft, whether from a donor, client, or staff member. Another viewpoint to use in determining the type of story you need is considering your audience and their favorite storytelling themes and topics. Moreover, you need to consider the nature of your story, apart from its source. For instance, it could be about countering adversity, transformation in any aspect of life, your funding or impact, or your organization’s future. Knowing the nature of your story helps identify the characters to be involved.
4. Conduct Interviews and Determine Story Leads
You can use many channels to determine story leads, such as introducing your idea to other staff members, who in turn help you find the right leads for your story. Also, you can conduct extensive interviews with several volunteers to find out if they would be willing to participate in your project.
After identifying story leads, hold conversations with them to know them better and their eligibility to play various roles in your story.
5. Tie Everything Together
Having gone through the 4 initial steps, the last step involves bringing all the pieces together and creating your story. Using the information collected from the interviews and the data and facts on various services and programs, you can now package everything together. Your story should begin with a captivating introduction to put your audience on the hook. As your story progresses, weave in all the other information to give a cohesive structure. To help in this, you can think of the other stories you can tell as you craft this story, which helps open up your imagination.
The significance of nonprofit storytelling has been discussed many times. Nonprofits’ work mainly highlights the people who are served and those who support and help us. This is done with the assumption that other people resonate with the story and connect with the organization. On the other hand, avoiding using storytelling is likely to lead you to tell people about the programs that your nonprofit organization provides. In doing this, you may end up highlighting certain programs that your audience cannot understand and their impact on their lives.