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Are You Sharing Stories of Your Nonprofit’s Impact or Giving Reports?

By April 6, 2016April 15th, 2019Fundraising, Storytelling

I’m passionate about the way nonprofit professionals are sharing stories. Too often what I hear are “ho hum” reports when the intention was to inspire.

Sharing stories about one person allows you to connect with your supporters on a personal and emotional level. And the double whammy? Those same stories cause people to take immediate action like contributing more time, talent, “stuff” or money. All good things, right?

Unfortunately, I regularly come across what I call lazy, unemotional story sharing. Well-intended fundraising and communication staff going through the motions of inserting a few lines about a client or volunteer in their appeal or a speech and calling it a story. The truth: It’s boooorrrrring.

Make sure you’re sharing actual stories. Don’t bore listeners or readers with a list of facts that feel like a report.

How to tell the difference?

Stories are a narrative account of real or imagined events, according to the National Storytelling Association.  However, it’s important to remember you are not a reporter who has to worry about sharing objective stories.

You ARE a fundraising or communications professional charged with inspiring others to take action.

The best thing to remember: Share how the person in your story feels.

Don’t just share a list of facts about where the person lives or the program they used. Talk about how that person felt before they came to you, what happened once your staff and volunteers provided support AND most importantly, how they feel today.

To help you create inspiring “action-causing” stories, here’s a handy checklist for you to download.

Use this as a guide to make sure you share powerful, emotionally-connecting stories and not dry, uninspiring reports. Below is an excerpt Or click to download the full checklist.


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