If you’ve been in the nonprofit industry for a while, chances are you’ve heard about the growing trend for storytelling when communicating with your audiences.

 

Storytelling, according to Psychology Today, is timeless and transcends generations. The most valuable aspect of storytelling, to organizations trying to communicate with their audiences, is that it helps your supporters relate to what you do.

 

Whether you’re aiming to directly promote your fundraising initiatives or you’re simply trying to increase your presence in the communities you operate in, creating a narrative around the work that you do is a great way to connect with your audience.

 

When thinking about how to tell your organization’s story (whether its about an organizational need or success), just remember that there are 6 elements to keep in mind:

 

  1. Story Arc. This relates to the structure of your story. Yes, this is exactly what your third-grade teacher taught you – remember to have a beginning, middle and an end to your story.
  2. Know Your Audience. This one is self-explanatory but absolutely vital! Some writers suggest creating a single persona that you write your story to. This is often more effective than trying to write a story that caters to the many different audiences that your organization caters to.
  3. Excitement. In order to engage your audience, your story must have some tension or action that keeps readers engaged.
  4. Resolution. This is where you provide a solution to a conflict or an end to the story. This is also where you place your call to action, whether that’s asking for donations, donor support, or simply spreading the word.
  5. Donor Recognition. Absolutely important to nonprofit organizations – make sure your donors understand just how important they are to you, and how much you appreciate them.

No matter the length of your story, you can use these 6 points as a checklist for a memorable and powerful message for your audience. By writing a story with these ideas in mind, you can create a deeper connection with your supporters.