Storytelling has been a pretty noteworthy buzzword in the nonprofit sector in the last few years. Blogs, conferences and thought leaders all over the sector stress the importance of storytelling.
We all have stories that stem from our work and most of us already know the importance of storytelling. Lori Jacobwith explains a new way to view storytelling. She explains that “mission moments” are stories that help to better explain our mission through the work we do. Mission moments help others learn an organization’s why by showing (not telling) real examples of impact.
Jacobwith explains that “stories are all about connecting—and they have been for as long as time,” which some people find intimidating. If you’re asking yourself “how can I be good at storytelling if I’m not a writer?” then you’re in luck. Jacobwith stresses that not all stories or mission moments require you to be an artful wordsmith and that sometimes they’re even better explained in a raw, unpolished form.
Mission moments are the most vital part of effective storytelling because they take an experience and turn it into something that helps others see and feel the tangible impact from your organization.
Some of the things that Jacobwith challenges us to do to find our mission moments include thinking about why you do what you do. Depending on how long you’ve been in the sector, your answer to why? may sound like what you would read in the “About Us” section on your organization’s website, a time when you saw your work directly affect someone else’s life, or it may even sound like a time when your organizations actually made a huge difference in your own life.
No matter what you decide to call it; storytelling, mission moments, content marketing, or daily conversation—to name a few—we’re constantly surrounded by it. Things are happening every day and all around us that capture the essence of what your organization strives to do. Now it’s up to us to look up from our smartphones and notice these happenings, take note of them when those moments happen and don’t forget to let others into those experiences.