Storytelling is a wonderful tool that can enhance your non-profit’s fundraising and communications programs. By sharing stories, you can connect, inspire, and engage constituencies with your organisation’s mission. While many organisations are starting to adopt storytelling as a best practice, some are still struggling to figure out how to get the best results from the time and effort they put into storytelling.
In this post, I’m going to share 4 strategies that your organisation can implement immediately to enhance and improve its storytelling work.
Be a Story Champion
This first step for any organisation looking to tell more stories is to have staff who play the role of story champion. This is a person (or people) who actively promote a culture of storytelling within the organisation. They share their own stories, they tell stories they’ve heard from within the organisation, and they do their best to foster connection among staff. Without a story champion who is charged with promoting storytelling within the organisation, it becomes much more difficult for storytelling to flourish.
Start a Story Library
Organisations who consistently tell stories know something that you may not – it pays to have a story library. This is essentially a folder or document that contains all of the stories the organisation has collected. The benefit of having a story library is that you have a variety of stories ready to use at a moment’s notice.
Developing a story library makes storytelling an on-going habit. Rather than scrambling at the last minute for a story for a social media post or appeal letter, you’ll have already done the legwork necessary to source stories.
Tell Stories that Support Your Message
Storytelling is a tool that helps you reach your strategic goals for fundraising and communications. If your organisation does not approach storytelling from this angle, you are likely missing out on some of the benefits it has to offer. Before you dive into storytelling, take a step back and think about what message you want to convey. What is that one main point that you want people to remember? Once you have pinpointed that message, then decide which story will best help you convey that message.
Chances are your organisation probably has a handful of strategic messages that it is trying to amplify over a quarter or even full year. This could be related to specific programs, your organisation’s point of view or something else. Hone in on what those are and communicate them consistently over time through your stories.
Repurpose and Reshare Stories
Telling a story one time is great. But telling many stories over time is even better. In order for your organisation to fully leverage storytelling, it must be an activity that you commit to over a period of time. Think about it – if you post a story once on social media, how many people are likely going to see it? Chances are it’s only a small portion of your audience. A better approach is to share that story multiple times, in multiple places. Some might think that your audience will get “tired” of seeing the same story, but chances are very few will see it more than once.
If you want to learn everything about applying storytelling strategies to your non-profit organisation, just join our next training session