Once upon a time…
With that phrase alone, I feel a twinge of anticipation for what’s coming next.
Everyone loves a good story. Whether it’s a tale of a hero overcoming a hardship to find a happy ending, or a tale of misfortune with a valuable lesson learned, it’s ingrained into our DNA to seek out stories.
However worthy your cause, sometimes it can be hard to measure your day-to-day progress. Not everyone notices, so it can seem like not everyone cares. If you’re having trouble getting momentum behind your cause, try to share stories. It might be your secret weapon.
Why tell stories?
First and foremost, storytelling is the easiest way to create personal appeal for your cause. Putting your face to the cause makes it much more personal, and gets more people invested in your impact. One of the best ways to maximize personal connection is to tell the stories of people in the community. Show that your cause is directly making an impact on the lives of community members. This is especially important for nonprofits that are very rooted in their local communities.
Find your story
Find a captivating story. Obviously, don’t bend the truth, but facts can only go so far to bring interest to your cause. You need to Appeal to people’s emotions. The most interesting stories to share are filled with hardship and tension. Use those stories with more difficult subject matter to shine a light on how you’re making a difference.
Your story can have a happy ending, but make it known that the fight isn’t over. There are still hurdles to leap and villains to defeat. With the help of others, your organization can lead the way in creating a happily ever after for your community. Emphasizing this need for support can help bring donors to your cause. They become characters in your story, and part of the change.
Share your stories (a lot)
Once you find your story, share it anywhere and everywhere. You can post about it on social media, or on your organization’s website. Or you could try other methods like creating posters and hanging them up in your workplace or around the community. You could also create a podcast series to tell the stories of those you’ve impacted.
Sharing success stories can also be a great way to motivate your staff. In any job, it can feel like you’re stuck in a routine, doing the same thing day in and day out. But sharing stories like these will help to remind your staff that their work is making a difference in someone else’s life. And that can be pretty special.
Stories have a way of moving people to action. Someone can claim to care about a certain cause, but connecting that cause to a human being goes much further than what pure facts and statistics will do in motivating people to make a difference.