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More Storytelling Questions Answered

By August 23, 2017Storytelling

I get asked A LOT of questions. Most are about sharing powerful stories, some more general. This week I’ve collected a few more questions from web classes I’ve delivered in the past two weeks.

Question from Stacey: How do we talk about our organization when we are new?

I love this question! My answer is the same as if you are a long-time organization. Use my message pyramid to help craft your messages.

I’ll work backwards from the bottom up on the pyramid with a short recap of how to use it:

Nonprofit Messaging Pyramid

Click the pyramid to see it full size.

4. Talk about your work through the eyes of one person: a child, a parent. You can brag more when it’s through someone else’s viewpoint.

3. Be sure to talk about your “money story.” This is what it takes to do your important work. Remember to stay away from language like “we need your help.” You don’t. The people you serve do. Talk about what it takes to serve them.

2. Don’t just share a bunch of facts. That’s what I call “lazy storytelling.” Explain what is missing in your programs, the waiting list, or what your programs will look like when they are fully funded.

1. Focus ANY messages on your WHY. The reason you get up in the morning. The reason you (and others) are passionate about your work. The reason your organization MUST exist.

Question from Lisa: How do you develop a story when there isn’t a villain per se as we are a universal access organization providing family support programs to parents with children under 6?

As I shared on the webinar, the conflict in a story is the oxygen. There is always a villain of some sort.
Focus on One Person to Make Your Nonprofit Message Stand Out
For your organization, that villain may be that some families don’t have the means to have books at home to help prepare their child for school. Or the villain might be the lack of awareness for the importance of early childhood education.

Focus your messages on what is missing in your community that requires your organization to exist, and then talk about what’s missing through the eyes of one child or one parent. THAT is what will cause your messages to stand out.

From last week’s Bloomerang webinar:
Question from Cynthia: Do you invite the same people to the annual event year after year?
Invite the Same Donors to Nonprofit Events
My quick answer is: YES. YES. YES.

Why though? Your event is the place you infuse your mission so attendees are inspired and reminded why they love your important work.

Our job is to cause attendees at events to feel a sense of pride about giving and a sense of urgency about the timing of their gift.

Not everyone WILL attend each year. But you do want to invite them back so they have the opportunity to make another gift.

If you’ve held your event for multiple years it’s time to introduce a multi-year pledge to your program. With a pledge for multiple years you get your marching orders to keep your donors inspired and feeling like insiders. Communication and understanding about how the gift is making an impact is what ensures they complete their pledge at the level or higher than their original pledge.


Click here to view the Harnessing Donor Passion to Drive Action webinar replay along with a transcript of the entire session.

To view the Powerfully Sharing Stories to Attract and Retain Your Donors webinar replay click here


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