You Have a Story to Tell.

Behind every non-profit, there is a story. A reason you either started the organization or why you use your time and energy to support it. One of the best ways to promote your non-profit and cause is to tell that story. Through video, blogs, pictures, and social media hashtags you can raise awareness to your cause through your or other’s stories.

When it comes to marketing, stories work. Jennifer Aakar, a marketing professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business explains: “Research shows our brains are not hard-wired to understand logic or retain facts for very long. Our brains are wired to understand and retain stories,” “A story is a journey that moves the listener, and when the listener goes on that journey they feel different and the result is persuasion and sometimes action.”

But where do you start? Lori Jacobwith over at NonProfitHub.org shares tips on how to best share and develop your non-profit’s story:

  1. Stories should be about real people who need something, hopefully something that YOUR organization provides.
  2. Allow the person in your story to have a real name, age, and to speak for themselves.
  3. Minds wander, get real quickly. In about 4-10 seconds your listeners tune out if you haven’t grabbed them. Don’t tell me you are going to tell me a story about someone, just tell it. Start with the person’s name, age and a few descriptive words.
  4. Keep your story short. Six words to two minutes is the length I recommend.
  5. Allow your story to cause me to feel something. Anger, sadness, happiness, pride—it doesn’t matter what the emotion is, I just have to feel something.
  6. Your story should have a moment when people see themselves or someone in their own lives. Could be their aging parents, the daughter of the person who made their latte today or their own child.
  7. The best stories are told by the person themselves. Clients telling their own stories are the most moving way to share how your organization makes a difference.

 

If you think about it, some of the most impactful video’s that are shared on social media come from organizations sharing their stories. One such is that Everytown for Gun Safety. To better inform people of their cause, Everytown for Gun Safety created a video sharing the story of Richard Martinez, father of shooting victim Christopher Ross Michael-Martinez, and why he supports the organization and what he hopes they will accomplish:

 

The short video is both an emotional tribute to his son and other parents of shooting victims and also a call to action for change. Whether or not you support the ideals of Everytown for Gun Safety, their storytelling efforts are impressive, impactful, and very much align with Jacobwith’s storytelling outline.

Your story is the soul of your organization, don’t keep it bottled in, let it out and spread your message!

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