3 Reasons to Practice Your Nonprofit Storytelling

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.

Mobile Marketing for Nonprofits in 2013: the must-do, the should-do and the wish-you-could-do http://bit.ly/13NwzU2 RT @npmarc

Randy Hawthorne

As the former Executive Director and Editor for Nonprofit Hub and a Professional Certified Marketer, Randy shares his passions of marketing and education with nonprofits to help them implement marketing and organizational leadership principles so they can grow their organizations. Randy lends his marketing and organizational leadership expertise to a number of nonprofits in his community. Outside the office, Randy works with high school and college students and mentors young professionals to develop their leadership and entrepreneurial skills.

May 28, 2013

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