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A Guide to Creating Compelling Stories for Your Nonprofit

For nonprofit organizations, promoting and marketing a mission is always tough work. But regardless of the challenge, fundraisers or nonprofits know that it’s vital to get the attention of supports even with limited resources. One marketing strategy to perform is creating compelling stories that can educate the donors and participants about the organization’s cause and inspire them to get involved.

Your organization can easily translate facts into feelings with compelling storytelling, encouraging donor retention and building stronger connections between ideas and actions. We’re here to help you create and tell a unique and engaging nonprofit story. Check out the tips below.

1. Stay relatable

In any form of media or art, being relatable is an important ingredient. Provide your target audience with a character they can relate to. This will be the face of your organization, which can be a person, a group, an animal, or a community. No matter what you choose, it should aim to connect with and understand your audience. In establishing relatability in your storytelling, you first need to determine the characteristics of your target audience and find out what inspires and motivates them to take action. You can then mold your character around their demographics, pain points, or interests. The audience needs to see themselves on the character.

2. Display a big vision

If you want to attract new sponsors, donors, volunteers, or advocates, you need to craft your stories around a big vision. Nonprofits of all sizes should focus on casting a massive vision to appeal to a bigger audience. In creating and sharing your stories, showcase the work you are doing and planning to take on, the accomplishments you have, and the lives you’ve changed.

Using your relatable character, you can assign it as the hero of your stories while your nonprofit’s social problems are trying to solve will be the villain. It can be hunger, poverty, or sickness. Encourage your audience to become heroes in your stories and the nonprofit’s vision by supporting and taking action.

3. Work on visuals

Every story needs a relevant visual to make it more impactful, engaging, and attractive to the reader. These visuals can be in the form of an image, a video, or a graphic. Before you decide to create new ones, do an inventory of visuals you already have at the organization and see what you can repurpose. Doing so will allow you to determine what visuals are still needed to craft. There are low-cost and free tools out there are that you can use to create the visuals.

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On the other hand, if you plan to create ones for big marketing or campaign events, especially those that target new donors, it will be best to hire a professional. For instance, you can hire an experienced corporate video production team to help you craft explainer videos or animated videos for your nonprofit. This is a worthy investment to guarantee that your visuals are appealing and professionally crafted, especially if you aren’t experienced in such work.

4. Host get-togethers

Not many organizations know, but community events, volunteer orientations, and staff meetings are highly valuable in fostering a storytelling culture. Fuel everyone in your nonprofit with stories that boost inspiration and motivations and make it a habit. But note, though, that not everyone possesses a storytelling mindset, with others even finding it uncomfortable to share their opinions.

To draw out ideas from your members, it would be helpful to ask leading questions. Avoid using intimidating words such as “tell your story!” Instead, ask them about experiences that make them feel inspired, happy, or fulfilled.

5. Use a call-to-action

One smart way to create a compelling yet still action-oriented story or content is by using a call-to-action (CTA). You can end your stories with CTA to provide them with a clear directive on what to do or what actions to take. Of course, the call-to-action you’ll choose depends on the goal of your nonprofit. For instance, giving money to the nonprofit is “Donate,” raising funds through events is “Fundraise,” publicly supporting the nonprofit is “Advocate,” and providing time for the nonprofit is “Volunteer.” Using these CTAs can encourage your audience to get involved with your nonprofit in the easiest and fastest way possible.

Activating the empathy of the audience through your stories is a challenging thing to do. But if done right, it can give your nonprofit a whole bunch of benefits. It builds personality, creates relationships, drives action, and, most of all, sets your nonprofit apart from other organizations. Tell your nonprofit story in the best way possible by following the tips above.

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