Jeremy Bartley

Don't undervalue the power of your non-profit's story

Donors want a reason to believe and support your non-profit; that’s the power of story. It connects your donor to the organization on a personal level and convinces them to continue giving.

The Story Matters

Your organization has a journey that is full of victories and defeats that make up your story. It's this story that donors need to hear and want to believe in. Too often nonprofits put telling their stories on the back burner because there is too much to do. Yes, there is a lot to do, but your story could mean the difference in future funding. Storytelling has changed the world and the history of many cultures have relied entirely on the power of storytelling. Don't miss the opportunity to grow belief in your organization through a simple story.

How you tell the story matters

If people don't see and connect with your story, you’re wasting time. There are so many new ways to communicate a story today. Whether you're telling your journey through video on YouTube or pictures on Instagram, people are watching. The important part is to understand how your donor wants to see your story. Your nonprofit may have an older donor base and a newsletter would be an effective means to connect. If you have a younger donor base, social media may be a better way to connect.

The next thing to recognize is how you to tell your story. The most effective brands have tapped into the fact that people want a real connection with those brands. That translates into real people with real stories on their journey of life using a product. It's not enough just to tell donors what you accomplished with their money. They want a more personal account of the journey. How was your life affected by this process? What did it take to achieve those numbers? What is the story of those impacted by your organization? Look it at like the behind-the-scenes of your organization or like a reality tv show; show the raw, real stuff. The more you connect with what matters to your donor, the more you will see growth.

Tell your story as it’s unfolding

Telling your story can't be an afterthought. The more purposeful you are in telling your story throughout the journey, the better it will be. It doesn't have to be a cumbersome task, but something that is a part of your everyday. Take a picture at your staff meeting and post it online with a message of what you're working on. If you're helping someone through your organization, interview them about the process and share it with your audience. Authenticity allows donors to connect with your organization on a personal level and welcomes them to become a part of your story as well.

Your donors are looking for authenticity from your non-profit, and that is why your story is so important. Start today, don't wait until the perfect moment to tell your story because there will never be one.