By Patrick Coleman
Humans are literally built to learn through stories. Storytelling is a fundamental way to communicate, one that pre-dates the earliest pre-historic cave paintings. Since the beginning of humankind stories have been used to share knowledge and have been central to handing down history and traditions. I venture to guess, just about now, you are thinking about the stories of your ancestors you’ve been told along the way.
More than a buzzword for marketers and communicators, storytelling has evolved into one of the most powerful marketing tools for organizations today (both for-profit and non-profit alike). Check out this infographic from OneSpot on the science of storytelling.
According to OneSpot, Americans consume an average of 100,500 digital words daily and 92% of these consumers want stories. Storytelling engages the head and the heart and makes the connection personal.
Ensuring your organization has an interesting narrative is essential. Well-crafted stories engage donors, raise awareness, demonstrate a need and illustrate the impact you have on your community. Compelling stories connect people to your organization and your mission. Remember these topline content guidelines when crafting your stories:
Use emotion to connect on a human level. Facts and figures are important, but stories are memorable. Your stories need to move the reader — make them feel something and ideally propel them to take action.
Appeal to the Senses.
Use language that paints a picture and enables the reader to experience the story. If you were writing about food you’d use descriptors that would make the readers’ mouth water. Apply that same tactic to your writing.
Focus on Why not What.
Tell supporters why you do the work you do. Dimensionalize “the what” by showcasing the outcomes – or the “why” of your work.
How is your organization using storytelling to enhance your fundraising? What insights and tips can you share? We love a good story, so be sure to share!