Here’s an experiment for you: next time some stranger walks up and asks you, “Hey–what’s your job?” and you get into the details of your nonprofit organization, stop.

Don’t describe your mission or your job title or the frustrations your nonprofit sees in the world. Instead, think of one person your nonprofit has helped, and tell a story about them.

People straighten up and pay attention when you tell them great stories. Watch the video below to learn more.

Watch to learn 3 Reasons to Practice Your Nonprofit Storytelling:


One of the fastest ways to completely transform the way your colleagues, donors and fellow nonprofits view your work is by telling great stories.

Here’s the deal: stories get past all the fluff and abstraction. When you tell an awesome story, you can be concrete, emotional and simple, all at once.

Here are three ways that telling stories will make your nonprofit more remarkable:

#1. Stories are an elevator pitch. The purpose of a story is emotional–it gets the donor to care enough that they want to learn more, or even donate on the spot. If you only have one minute to captivate someone, they aren’t going to remember your statistics–but they will remember a story.

#2. Stories are concrete. As an expert of your cause, it’s easy to get way too technical for your listener without even realizing it. Stories keep you from getting too highfalutin.’

#3. Humans are always telling stories. Think about it–stories are the primary way we communicate. And the only reason donors give to your organization is because they believe the story your organization tells. Your story only matters because it confirms the one your donors already tell themselves–and that’s why they donate.

If you want one takeaway: Start collecting stories. Ask your donors to share them with you. Push your staff to notice stories. Then, tell them. 

Thanks for watching.