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Crafting Stories To Support Fundraising


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Stories give context to data and facts. They make the abstract concrete, and create relationships where none existed. Significantly, stories create emotional connections between an organization and its audience that can last well beyond the initial contact. This presentation, given for organizations participating in Valley Gives 2014, highlights
• What makes a good story
• The organizational stories you have right now
• The types of stories that can power your fundraising/crowdfunding campaign
• Social media tools to tell your story

Published in: Social Media
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Crafting Stories To Support Fundraising

  1. 1. Stories That Support Our Fundraising on Valley Gives Day…and Beyond Presented by Debra Askanase
  2. 2. 2 Former nonprofit executive director, program manager, community organizer Deep passion for movement- building and change organizations Digital Engagement Strategist About Debra Askanase
  3. 3. Today’s Workshop • Why stories resonate • Sharing Small Moment Stories using social media • Finding your organizational and project stories • Elements of a great story • Developing your own story
  4. 4. *Personal stories and gossip make up 65% of our daily conversations All day long, we tell stories
  5. 5. When we hear a story, we try to relate it to one of our existing experiences
  6. 6. Decoding Experiencing Read numbers, lists, text Read/hear stories Our brains process stories differently
  7. 7. We remember stories because we empathetically experience them
  8. 8.
  9. 9. * * Small Moment Stories All year long, leverage social media to share “Small Moment Stories”
  10. 10. It can be this simple
  11. 11. Instagram posts * Search Instagram with
  12. 12.
  13. 13. What do these stories have in common?
  14. 14. * * Sourcing Stories How can we create a culture of storytelling within our organizations?
  15. 15. Share Pair Discussion What environment contributes towards staff finding and unearthing your organization’s stories? What obstructs or prevents your staff from finding stories?
  16. 16. * * Elements of a Strong Story Long form or short, they all have similar elements
  17. 17.
  18. 18. • Simplifies a complex idea to its essence • There is a story arc – Faces adversity, finds allies, overcomes adversity • The story arc creates a connection with the audience • Has a relatable “main character” • Involves sympathy and empathy – The character has a problem => sympathy – The character seeks a solution => empathy • There is “a stake” involved for the main character • Gives the audience one strong message • Inspires action A strong story…
  19. 19. A story without stakes -- is just an essay
  20. 20. Make sure it’s a story, not an idea Idea Fight back against cancer. Story Meet Jordan. Learn who she is, what has happened to her, what’s in the way, and how she fights back. Will she succeed?
  21. 21. Did this story have… • A relatable character? • Story arc • Description • Problem (empathy) • Solution (sympathy) • Stakes: What the character is overcoming • A specific call to action? • A “phrase that pays” in the story?
  22. 22.
  23. 23. Look out for the Phrase That Pays* *The one that you can translate into the ask. Thank you Marc Pitman!
  24. 24. * * 4 Types of Stories You Have Right NOW Founding/Founder’s stories Our People stories What You Do stories Impact stories
  25. 25. What stories do you have on hand?
  26. 26. • Has a complex idea, simplified: Can you explain the story in one sentence • Has a relatable main character. Who’s yours? • Has a story arc with sympathy, empathy, and stakes. – The character has a problem => sympathy – The character seeks a solution => empathy • What is “the stake” involved for the main character? • Inspires action! How does your story inspire action? Reminder: A story…
  27. 27. * * Creating Strong Visuals Consider impact and viewpoints Select what speaks to the heart
  28. 28. 5 Visual Content Tips 1. Don’t assume others will react to visuals the same way you do. Test visuals. 2. Pair photos with words for impact. Use genuine photos, not stock images. 3. Invest the most in the first image that you show. First impressions get top billing in the mind. 4. People relate to people. Use people-centric photos. 5. Think about the emotion you want the visual to convey.
  29. 29. Choose the best visual media for your story and your organizational capacity StaticPhotoStorytelling • Instagram • Pinterest • Flickr • Tumblr • Jpeg • Tag galaxy DataVizStorytelling • Infographics • Maps • Dipity • • Mindmaps • ThingLink VideoStorytelling • YouTube • Animoto • Vimeo • Vine CuratedStorytelling • Storify • • Kontribune • • Twitter
  30. 30. Share your story everywhere • Social media • Website • Email • Microsite • Your fundraising page • Newsletters
  31. 31. Storytelling Development: Final Checklist • Say the story out loud • Aim for the heart • Test images • Test stories • Make it personal (Gideon, Izzy) including sympathetic & empathetic • Make the story bold • Beginning, middle and end • Create a sense of urgency • One awesome visual early on in your story • Talk about the money: why you need it, what the gap is, how much is needed • Make it seem attainable! • Invite donors to be part of the solution
  32. 32. A few great Valley Gives 2013 Stories… Gandara Mental Health, Inc Easthampton Community Center Whole Children
  33. 33. Don’t forget to have fun!
  34. 34. Don’t forget to have fun! I’m happy to answer any follow-up questions! Email: Website: Blog: Linkedin: Twitter: @askdebra Other slides: Telephone: (617) 682-2977