As you think about your fundraising efforts for 2019, focus on telling more stories about how the work your organization does helps others, and how donor support directly impacts your cause. Why? It’s quite simple.
Yet, when 81 nonprofits were surveyed by Georgetown University, almost all (96%) said that nonprofit storytelling is important, but fewer had specific goals for their stories (78%) or felt that their stories met their goals (6%). On the whole, most didn’t think they told enough stories. Only 23% were satisfied with the number of stories they produced and shared.
In a column about how to develop a storytelling culture, Julie Dixon, of the Center for Social Impact Communication, points out that vibrant storytelling cultures have not just one, but a portfolio of stories told in different ways and from different perspectives. Vibrant storytelling also requires multiple storytellers–far more than simply having the CEO share stories of successes and good deeds in her speeches. Everyone in the organization should have and share compelling stories.
Have staff meet regularly to share stories and then talk about ways the stories can be retold.
After stories are collected, dedicate the time, staff and budget to use them. Three out of four nonprofits Georgetown surveyed spent less than 5 percent of their budget on storytelling; 20 percent dedicated only one person to the task; another 20 percent said they put 2 people on the job.
After you gather a number of stories, find ways to use them. The nonprofits Georgetown talked to said websites, newsletters, Facebook, print collateral and annual reports were their most effective communication vehicles.
If you need more ideas on ways to improve your nonprofit storytelling, give us a call. We can help you raise awareness–and money–through better communication.
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