Do you struggle with finding the right stories to tell about
your nonprofit’s impact?
Do you use digital tools like email and social media to raise
awareness for your nonprofit, but canâ€™t seem to get enough
engagement or traction?
Do you struggle with getting buy-in from your boss and your
board to invest in these efforts in the first place?
Whether you are a storytelling novice or a seasoned
professional just looking for some new ideas, I have some ideas for
While the exact methods and step-by-step system that I teach are
inside my new
nonprofit storytelling course, I do have a few tips
for getting your organization on board with storytelling.
1) Create a compelling vision for storytelling.
There is no doubt that the most effective way to grow support
and to keep donors engaged is by crafting authentic, real,
emotional stories about the work that you do every day.
Sharing gripping stories using social media is a powerful way to
showcase the results of your work.
The questions that you need to answer for your boss:
- With all the digital tools available, how can you, as a busy
nonprofit professional, choose where to place your focus?
- How do you identify, collect, and craft these wonderful stories
that will compel people to take action?
- How can you mold these stories for each digital and social
- What are the steps you can take to develop a plan for your
storytelling campaign, to ensure that you wonâ€™t just be spinning
Storytelling works as a strategy to get people excited and
passionate about causes.
With the popularity and proliferation of digital and social
media tools, there is much potential to be harnessed to energize
supporters and get your message shared far and wide.
Sharing stories using social media, and other digital tools like
your nonprofit website, blog, and email newsletter, is absolutely
imperative to cut through the online clutter and compel your
supporters to take action on your behalf.
Social media, combined with great websites, blogs, and email
tactics, are being used successfully to raise awareness and
Your boss may also be struggling with this common question â€“
How can storytelling and social media be connected in a strategic
way to help nonprofits better achieve their fundraising and
They may also be concerned with how you, as a busy staff member
or volunteer at a resource-stretched organization, can manage it
all without getting overwhelmed.
2) Give specifics where you can.
When you say â€œI need everyone to give me a story for the next
email newsletterâ€ no one knows what you mean.
In fact, they may think you want something above and beyond what
you actually need!
If you need 300 words and a photo, tell them that.
You know what you mean â€“ but how can you make your ask more
specific, and less intimidating?
3) Collect and share examples of nonprofit storytelling that you
When you say â€œwe need to do storytellingâ€ you may have a
clear vision and example in mind.
The problem is, the person you are talking to may be hearing
something very different.
Sharing examples helps get everyone on the same page, and will
spur some ideas!
I have a Google Drive filled with examples â€“ www.bit.ly/NPCovid
I also collect examples in Pinterest:
4) Donâ€™t give up.
Changing a culture takes time.
Keep telling stories at each meeting and (virtual)
Lead by example. â€œBe the change you want to see in the
Show you where to find and how to collect the best stories about
your nonprofitâ€™s work and impact.
Describe the ways to tell an effective story, developing a
narrative arc and hook, and how to focus on people versus programs
in your stories.
Address the unique and very real challenges that nonprofits face
when sharing stories about their work online, including
confidentiality obstacles and reluctance on the behalf of staff and
Give you tips on creating a culture of storytelling at your
nonprofit, even if you have never told stories or used social media
Walk you through the steps required to identify, recruit,
cultivate, and motivate your very own army of storytellers to
spread the word about your cause.
Give you storytelling strategies that will turn you supporters
from passive readers into passionate advocates.
Provide you with the nuts and bolts of creating a plan for a
digital storytelling campaign.
Show you how to integrate storytelling into your nonprofit
Give you the basics of blogging for your nonprofit, as well as a
brief description of the major blogging platforms.
Cover the best practices in nonprofit email marketing, how to
build a powerful email list, and how to integrate email marketing
efforts with your website and social media channels.
Explain the basic principles of using social media to tell your
nonprofit story and how to best incorporate visuals in your social
Provide tips on using video to tell your stories, including
leveraging the popularity and unique perspective of live streaming
Help you turn â€œsocial mediaâ€ skeptics at your organization
into social media cheerleaders.
Include examples from nonprofits that are getting storytelling
right on social media channels.
Show you some easy ways to measure the success of your
Tell you how to extend the life of your stories and build on the
momentum you have created.
You can do this, Julia! If you want a blueprint and
step-by-step process, check out my new program, Storytelling
Doors are only open until May 31! Save your spot
and join us!
How to Get Your Boss to Invest In Digital Storytelling appeared
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How to Get Your Boss to Invest In Digital