August 10, 2016 How non-profits can tell better stories

By Emma Hardy

little girl, wearing polka dot dress, smiles happily on paddy fields

Digital storytelling is a great way to build community, extend your reach, and raise much needed funds. However, telling the right stories ­– and telling them compellingly – is no mean feat. Most non-profits have left their storytelling potential largely untapped, and there’s a wealth of potential available to them should they choose to take it.

As copywriters, we’re familiar with the techniques necessary to uncover and convey compelling stories. And, with our passion for non-profits, we’re committed to helping NFPs harness their full potential through the power of storytelling.

That’s why we’re co-hosting an exciting free event on Digital Storytelling and Fundraising with Heartburst Digital. In the lead up to this exciting event, we’ve decided to share some top tips for non-profits looking to expand their storytelling repertoire.

Tell volunteer stories

If volunteers are the heart of your organisation, telling their story is a great way to let the world know about the awesome work they do. Your volunteers and members have great stories to tell, and sharing their passion is a great way to evoke passion in others. Volunteer ­and member stories also give credit to all the marvellous people within your organisation, and help build a strong sense of community.

Great volunteer stories can be told in a number of ways, from video to blog post to social media shout-out. To get the best story, it’s important to sit down with your volunteers and let them do the talking. Ask them questions about their involvement, why they believe in your cause, and their hopes for the future.

Push the boundaries

Doing something new is nearly always a worthy story. And sometimes it doesn’t even have to be the content of your stories that are pushing boundaries. Trying to tell your stories in fun and interesting ways can be a great way to gain traction. If you normally do social media shout-outs, you could try mixing it up with long-form blog posts.

You can also try highlighting events that show something different you’ve been engaged with. These could include actions, fundraisers, or campaigns. When you’re looking at your work from a storytelling perspective, it can motivate you to reach your full potential and understand how a one-off action can fit into the wider narrative of your work.

Celebrate your differences

Every organisation is unique, and celebrating the things that make you different is one of the best ways to truly convey what’s special about you. What do you provide that other organisations don’t? Do you like singing? Are you all passionate bakers? Celebrating differences also shows what a colourful, diverse and vibrant community you are. Show the world what makes you, you. By creating a story that’s unique to you, you can show the role you play in helping make the world a better place.

If you’re a non-profit looking to expand your storytelling capacity, come along to our free Digital Storytelling and Fundraising event, held in partnership with Heartburst Digital. We’ll be hearing from one of the world’s best digital storytellers and NFP marketers, Janie Alcock, along with an industry round table, networking and more. Register for your free ticket today.