A Quick Guide to Nonprofit Storytelling

A Quick Guide to Nonprofit Storytelling

It's often said that the best storytellers are the best marketers. Research says that messages delivered as stories can be up to 22 times more memorable than facts alone.

Like any other business, nonprofits too rely on stories to connect and effectively communicate with their audience. It works great to showcase the impact of their work and build a community around their mission.

Through storytelling, nonprofits can effectively communicate about the problems, how they are trying to address them and make emotional connections to attract supporters.

It really doesn’t matter what your NPO size is, what cause you support or what budget you have, you can take advantage of storytelling marketing. All that you need to know is how to tell your story and effectively communicate with your audience.

How to tell a powerful nonprofit story

  • A story needs to have a beginning, a middle and an end. You need to have a leading character that gives your audience to identify and care about.

  • The beginning to start with a leading character that likely has a goal or desire.

  • In the middle, the leading character faces challenges while pursuing those goals and takes actions.

  • At the end, focus on how the life or situation of the leading character changes because of actions taken with the help of your nonprofit.

  • Finally, you can tell your audience that it’s not the end and how your nonprofit is working to help others. Also share your plans to tackle new challenges. Invite your audience to contribute by donations or other ways to be a part of the story.

The most common nonprofit storytelling goals are:

  • Raise funds for the specific campaign or cause

  • Make donors aware of the new challenge

  • Improve conversion on a landing page

  • Thank donors to show the positive impact of the donation

  • Enhance trust and loyalty

You can make use of your website, blogs, email and social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest etc) as mediums to tell your story and help users connect with your cause.

Nonprofit storytelling examples

Check out the following posts for some of the best examples of nonprofit storytelling:

7 Important Nonprofit storytelling tips

  1. Your storytelling should be built on the real stories of real people

  2. Embrace visual storytelling to engage with your audience more deeply

  3. Create different types of content that you can repurpose across all your channels e.g. social media posts, video ads, presentations, podcasts etc.

  4. Make minimal use of facts and figures. Use data to help a story, but not a story.

  5. Always include a call to action that’s relevant to your story

  6. Use story as a part of your overall nonprofit marketing strategy

  7. It should reflect your values and beliefs