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  1. 1. Takeaways From Today  Why storytelling is so vital to a successful nonprofit marketing & fundraising strategy  How to use digital tools to tell your nonprofit’s story  How to make your message stand out and cut through the clutter and noise  How to use video-sharing tools to connect with supporters
  2. 2. Why Storytelling?
  3. 3. Why Storytelling?  People don’t remember bullet points.  People respond to emotion.  Feelings, not analytical thinking, drive donations.
  4. 4. Why Storytelling?  Stories help you express your mission to the lay person.  Statistics might shock and awe, but they will rarely get people to take action.
  5. 5. What Storytelling Will Not Do
  6. 6. What Storytelling Will Not Do Fix bad management. Fix a lousy program or service. Replace other marketing strategies. Replace fundraising tactics like direct asks and one-on-one meetings. BUT if done well, it will augment all other communication efforts!
  7. 7. How To “Do” Storytelling?  Think of your audience.  How can you tell a story in a way that will resonate with them?  What is important to them?  Resource:
  8. 8. How To “Do” Storytelling?  Stories have a trajectory.  They do not need to be candy-coated and positive – they need to be authentic.  Ideas for stories: This is how we started, this is who we are today, this is where we’re going, this is how we have been challenged along the way
  9. 9. Mindset Shift  Storytelling requires an entire change of mindset.  Most nonprofit communications are boring, not compelling and easy to ignore.  Why is this? How can we change this?
  10. 10. Don’t Ignore the Data  Stories alone are not enough.  You must be able to back up what you are doing or show that this is a real problem.
  11. 11. Types of Stories  Value Stories  The core values of your nonprofit  Why you do what you do  What are you passionate about? Reference:
  12. 12. Value Stories  Example – The Robin Hood Foundation   The video starts out immediately with people who have been helped – you immediately connect with them.  Offer “social proof” – Geoffrey Canada; Chairman & CEO Of Goldman Sachs  Efficient, effective – 100% charity  Students proudly saying where they are going to college
  13. 13. Types of Stories  Creation Stories  The why and the how of your organization  What is the need  Story of the founders  The real WHY you exist Reference:
  14. 14. Creation Stories  Example –Environmental Defense Fund  Started by a small group of passionate conservationists in Long Island.  They wanted to save the osprey, bald eagle and peregrine falcon.  Went to court, got a ban on DDT in 1966. In 1972, they played a large role on a nationwide ban.  They play up the “strong foundation” and grassroots approach which informs their work today.
  15. 15. Types of Stories  “Striving to Improve” Stories  Express resiliency  Show that your org is always trying to improve  Mistakes, lessons learned  Helps other organizations Reference:
  16. 16. Types of Stories  Example – The Denver Foundation  10 Years 10 Stories – Celebrating 10 years of inclusiveness  Stories from the Journey – stories told by the nonprofits awarded grants  Nonprofits discussed what they learned and what they still have to work on.  Focused on their target audience and thought about what would resonate with them.
  17. 17. Stories Should Cover:  The WHY: Your cause and the lives you are changing  The HOW: Your programs and services.  The WHAT: The impact you are having on the world
  18. 18. Where To Find Them?  Everywhere!  Everyone is responsible! Cannot exist in a silo  Is not just the marketing or development department’s job!!!!  Get on the front lines
  19. 19. Everyone Has A Story Everyone has a story – it might not be one that you can use, but it might lead you to an idea or person who can help.
  20. 20. Casey Hibbard, Stories That Sell  “Praise” letters – talk with the submitter, collect more details  Ask clients – include a “share your story” page on your website, conduct surveys, ask at live events  Stay positive  Keep it varied – Make A Wish Foundation doesn’t just tell about the people that benefit, they also tell the stories of the wish-granter, the volunteers and their sponsors.
  21. 21. #npstory @JuliaCSocial @handsontechbos
  22. 22. Bay Area’s Committee on the Shelterless (COTS)  Video of a man whose life was saved by COTS  No multiple takes or tricky editing  He’s talking to an audience, live
  23. 23. The Lazarex Cancer Foundation  The Bracelet Story – one couple that helps Lazarex through fundraising because the organization helped their son
  24. 24. Per Scholas  IT professional job training organization – free tech education to unemployed & low-income adults
  25. 25. Houston Ballet  Their Flickr account provides a backstage pass to their productions.
  26. 26. Conservation International “If it's raining where you are, the ocean played a role. If you drove to work, the seas are absorbing the carbon dioxide from your car. If you ordered seafood for lunch, it may have traveled halfway around the world to land on your plate. No matter where you live on Earth, what you do affects the ocean — and what happens to the ocean affects you.”
  27. 27. Mine The Gold “Think of the story itself as gold. You mine the gold, capture the story. Then you bring it back to your office and you need to pound that gold into different shapes and sizes depending on whom you’re talking to, or also where you’re telling it.” ~ Andy Goodman
  28. 28. Getting Started Have a system.  Collecting stories and story ideas.  Capture and save your stories – Story Bank  Dropbox, Google Docs, Basecamp  Whatever you use – make sure it is accessible  Social Media Committee – story witnesses  Figure out a way to start thinking through this lensiPhones, tablets, anyone can be a reporter
  29. 29. Getting Started Define goals.  What are your priorities?  Program development & fundraising – structure around those stories  Getting on social media is not a strategy!
  30. 30. Getting Started Empower others.  You cannot do it alone. Period.  Hold a staff meeting to train on storytelling.  Change the culture – have an email listserv or start staff meetings with an exchange of stories.
  31. 31. Think Like A Journalist You are a media organization. You need to be writers, publishers, photographers, videographers It’s not about your organization, it’s about what you are doing in terms of impacting the world. Use different platforms depending.
  32. 32. Channels for Storytelling  Website  Blogs  Email newsletters  Publications  Social media  Public speaking, community education  User-generated – how can you encourage your online community to share their stories?
  33. 33. Go Multichannel Don’t put all your eggs in one basket! Be where your supporters are, not where you want them to be. Be consistent in your brand and in your story – you don’t have to tell the exact same story across channels.
  34. 34. Use Video  Think about stories that are shareable.  Don’t say too many things!!! Simple is better.  1-2 minutes, lose viewers every 10-20 seconds  How will you visually tell your story?  Who will guide the narrative?
  35. 35. Use Video  Beginning – What’s at stake? The before (“I was homeless”)  Middle – What has changed?  End – What does the future look like?  Call to Action  What will the viewer be compelled to do?
  36. 36. “Break the Fourth Wall”  Create a candid “making of” video for a fundraising, advocacy or awareness campaign you are launching.  Take a tip from Wikipedia and live broadcast the results of your fundraising campaigns and the decisions you are making based on those results. Resource: Alia McKee, Sea Change Strategies, unpredictably/
  37. 37. “Break the Fourth Wall”  Develop a “Why I Do This Work” video series that shows why your staff have dedicated their lives the cause.  Create a fun photo board of staff desks — including those in both exotic and not-so-exotic locations. The idea is to push beyond traditional direct marketing techniques to show a more relatable, identifiable you. Resource: Alia McKee, Sea Change Strategies, bueller-trick-break-fourth-wall-unpredictably/
  38. 38. Promote Your Story  Using influencers  Using Online Brand Ambassadors  Partnership with other organizations, companies, businesses – “Brandscaping”  Bloggers  Celebrities
  39. 39. What Makes Stories Memorable? From “Made to Stick” by Dan and Chip Heath 1) SIMPLE 2) Unexpected 3) Concrete 4) Credible 5) Emotional
  40. 40. Common Mistakes  Using only data. Facts are not a story!  No reason for the story – it’s not clearly stated in the beginning.  No context.  No protagonist.
  41. 41. Common Mistakes  Thinking that slick video production = great story.  Silo-ing the storytellers.  Thinking it’s a one time deal.
  42. 42. In Conclusion…  For nonprofits especially, storytelling through pictures and videos is KEY to communicating your mission!
  43. 43. In Conclusion…  Always about the WHY – not the what you do or how you do it.  Be authentic.  Be credible.  Get over your fear.  Figure out ways to measure your success.
  44. 44. Resources  The Starter Guide to Nonprofit Video Storytelling (free download):  Nonprofit Storytelling for Crowdfunding & Online Fundraising:  DoGooder Awards:  TechSoup Digital Storytelling Challenge: initiatives/techsoup-digital-storytelling  SocialBrite:  Nancy Schwartz – Getting Attention: fail/
  45. 45. Questions? Feedback?  Tweet questions or post them on our Facebook Wall:    Thank you!