Have you ever heard the one about three bears caught up in an insatiably curious girl’s quest for something “just right?” If so, you have a great storyteller to thank.

From a cabin in the woods to a galaxy far, far away, storytelling is the most effective way in which we share experiences, knowledge, wisdom, and inspiration.

More and more, nonprofit organizations are looking to improve their storytelling by examining how they convey the importance of their mission to audiences + potential donors.

But good stories are never one-size-fits-all.

Good storytelling empowers nonprofits to share their challenges + triumphs more effectively, which amounts to sending the right messages to the right audiences.

Want to improve on how you tell your nonprofit’s story? Chapter Two discusses the essential elements of getting storytelling “just right."

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Continue to Chapter 2

By combining the following essential elements, nonprofits can cook up some seriously powerful stories.

Nonprofit storytelling generally relates tales of donor heroics, lasting positive impacts, or simply expresses gratitude. No matter the aim, nonprofit stories should be just that + include a beginning, middle, and end.

First comes the introduction of a main character, described in vivid detail that connects with audiences + gains their emotional investment. This piece is crucial, as the next element of the story should present a relatable problem or obstacle that the main character must face.

If you’ve done the first step correctly, audiences will feel for your character + want to know more.

Next, your hero or heroes (your donors!) emerge to fight the good fight.

Be sure to explain these triumphs using an authentic voice

that's unique to your organization + supporters (more on this in Chapter Three.)

With the right amount of sincerity + action-oriented emotions, nonprofit storytelling should end with rousing calls-to-action that energize audiences to be the hero in their own stories.

What’s the recipe for inspiring action?

Chapter Three explains how to write stories worth telling.

Choosing a hero that audiences will root for is no small feat.

Good storytelling requires a dynamic character that goes on a journey + is transformed, showcasing the values of your organization + your supporters.

Highlight the unique story elements + details that make the story “uncommon” and singular to your organization + its work. The easiest way to do this is to focus on the real heroes in nonprofit organization - donors, of course!

The best stories are those we tell again + again. For nonprofits, this means crafting inspiring, shareable tales that audiences will eager pass on. Choose an appropriate medium for your stories (a web testimonial, a short video, printed materials, etc.) and make sure to consider how different audiences prefer to share content.

And don’t underestimate the power of a good “hook!”

Figure out what it is about your story that will keep audiences interested + put it front and center.

Ready to slay your nonprofit’s story? Check out Chapter Four’s exciting conclusion + steps you can take now to get started.

Believe it or not, your nonprofit’s story has already been written.

Your staff, donors, and volunteers are the most valuable arrows in your quiver so solicit them for stories that show how your organization is emboldening everyday people to be heroes.

Start small + focus on incorporating great storytelling elements that will resonate with potential donors + get their sights set on your organization’s work.

Use any data you can collect to create + measure metrics to determine the success of your storytelling so you can continue improving.

But telling a great nonprofit story isn’t the end of, well, the story!

Work toward building a library of inspirational anecdotes that can grow with your organization.

The End

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