Nonprofit Storytelling


Published on

Once upon a time… Storytelling is an art that brings a nonprofit‘s mission into the hearts (and pocketbooks) of its supporters. In this webinar, we’ll talk about what makes a good story (and what doesn’t), where to find moving stories, and how to tell stories to increase donor and volunteer engagement in your nonprofit.

Published in: Business
1 Comment
  • Did you find this presentation helpful and would like to see more of our sessions? Feel free to register for any of our upcoming NonprofitWebinars sessions here:

    Also, we invite you to watch the video for this session here:
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Nonprofit Storytelling

  1. Nonprofit Storytelling: How to tell better stories and raise more money Elizabeth Turnbull July 14, 2010 Special Thanks To Our Sponsors
  2. Helping ordinary people raise extraordinary amounts for nonprofits is all we do, and we love it. A Proud Sponsor of
  3. Today’s Speaker Elizabeth Turnbull Turnbull Marketing Group Hosting: Sam Frank, Synthesis Partnership Assisting with chat questions: Chris Dumas, FirstGiving
  4. Once Upon a Time... • Who cares? • What makes a story “good”? • Where can I find a good story? • How do I tell a story effectively? • Where do I tell my story?
  5. Who cares? • Everyone with money to give. And that means that you care, too. • Fewer charity dollars going around means that you have to step up your game and make your mission relevant to your donors. • If you don’t have a story to tell, then what in the world are you doing out there?
  6. What makes a story “good”? • Characters you can relate to • A plot you can believe in (and that’s relevant) • Well-executed • A call to action that moves you
  7. Characters you can relate to • Personable • Sympathetic/Vulnerable • Have a fulfillable need • Have a succinct story that relates directly to your mission • Whenever possible, not you
  8. A plot you can believe in • No conflict, no need • Clearly expresses the need • Has a story-like feel (think feature story in your favorite magazine) • Ties in directly to your mission • gn. Great Depression Campai Food For The Poor. 2009.The Relevant to your donors • Succinct • Invites the reader into the character’s world
  9. Well Executed • Good writing (or script) • Descriptive — try to involve all of your readers’ senses • Clear and easy to read (or watch) • Professional quality
  10. A call to action that moves you • Direct—no • Urgent—Why me? hemming and Why now? hawing • Repeated • Doable
  11. Where can I find a good story? • Everywhere! Every single living thing in the world has a story—the hard part is seeing it • Start at home • Talk to the people you serve • Be nosy—ask questions that touch the heart
  12. Be nosy • What do you hope/pray for? • What do you want for your future? For your children’s future? • How has our organization helped you? What was life like before we began to help you? • What do you want to tell our friends and supporters? • Why should our friends & supporters help other people like you?
  13. How do I tell a story effectively? • Focus on the details that pull at the heart strings—make them weep • Be succinct—leave out the dry information • Hook your audience from the very beginning • Use action words, present tense and adjectives • Don’t just tell a story—show it • Tie everything back to your mission
  14. Hook, Line...and Wallet • Imagine... • Come with me on a journey... • I want you to... • I need you to... • Start with a quote from the main character • Transport your audience directly to the scene
  15. Mahalia Climbing the sagging steps leading up to the dilapidated house teetering 6 feet off the ground in Georgetown, Guyana, I keep my eyes on 8-year-old Mahalia, who bounds ahead of me with no apparent fear of falling through the rotted wood. She leads me inside, where missing floorboards, bowing walls and a rusted piece of tin—more a strainer than a roof— form what bit of space she has to call home. I have come to listen, and Mahalia is just about to tell me a secret.
  16. Where do I tell my story? • Use them everywhere you can—online, brochures, newsletters, fundraising letters, benefits, annual reports • Illustrate with compelling photos • Send your audience online for the rest of the story—websites shouldn’t be just content-driven, they need to be story-driven • Make short videos—feature the people you serve whenever possible • Tell one good story in each e-Newsletter • Use your blog to tell stories, not to give status reports
  17. On Your Web Site
  18. On Your Web Site
  19. On Your Web Site
  20. On Facebook
  21. On Facebook
  22. On Facebook
  23. On Twitter
  24. On Twitter
  25. On Twitter
  26. Happily Ever After • Pull at heart strings • Be succinct • Make it personal • Tie it back to your mission • Tell stories all the time, everywhere you go
  27. Let’s keep in touch ll Eliz abeth Turnbu email : elizabeth@tbullg ull twitter : @ejturnb .5072 telephone: 919.741 Sign up for our eNewsletter for helpful tips on nonprofit fundraising.
  28. Find the listings for our current season of webinars and register at Chris Dumas 707-812-1234 Special Thanks To Our Sponsors