Storytelling is an art that needs to be polished and perfected with each milestone. Organizations worldwide are making use of modern technology and methods such as online and mobile giving. Yet, the strategy for nonprofit fundraising is incomplete without the planning and formation of a storyline. This article brings you the best storytelling examples for nonprofit fundraising that will help you navigate through your next campaign.
It is a good idea to first look into the components of a good story:
- Personalized: Since you are communicating with an audience that has a common interest, tell personal stories that are relevant to the shared interest. Testimonials and real life stories that inspire giving is a great place to start.
- Entertaining: A good story is like a hook, therefore throwing in some humor and wit is never a bad idea. Try including funny experiences in some of your communication materials.
- Informative: Include numbers from your previous campaigns, include educational details.
The overarching goal here is to have all your edges covered in order to ensure a successful and satisfying outcome. Here are a few examples of exceptional storytelling.
Taking inspiration from Mercy Ships, putting your entire personalized story on your website’s homepage really engages its visitors. Details in the form of numbers, words, pictures and videos are laid out on the organization’s website. The most interesting part is that for each group or individual receiving aid, their story is documented – you just have to click on an image to access the entire personalized story. This tops our list of storytelling examples for nonprofit fundraising because of the personal touch it is able to generate in the minds of its audience.
Telling your stories through multiple channels and making each channel count makes a lot of difference in the overall result of your campaign. Making use of social media among other platforms is all great but there is always more to explore. Here is an example in which Team Rubicon really mobilizes its volunteers and workers to write about their experiences with the organization on Medium. These are stories of lending a helping hand, that of hope.
No communication in the nonprofit sector is complete without emails. While many might be of the opinion that emails are done and dusted, that is not the case. Here’s an example of an ideal email appeal by Southern Pines Animal Shelter that tells a story in an engaging manner. An engaging narrative would result in the audience wanting to know more and eventually donate. The email begins with a picture and instantly throws a story that stirs up an imagination in the heads of the readers. With a good start that grabs attention, the email goes on to speak of how teamwork can help save many more dogs. This email reminds its reader of how much their supporters mean to them. It speaks of humility and bond – an important aspect of nonprofit fundraising.
Who doesn’t love videos? And a fun and witty video with a meaningful message? Why not! Rainforest Alliance came up with a clever video unter the title “Follow the Frog”. The video creates contrasting images of what people should do to help the rainforest on one hand and what they are actually doing on the other hand. The video ends with a message saying that the best they can do is check for Rainforest Alliance Seal before buying a product, the seal simply says, “Follow the Frog”. Although the campaign was launched in 2012, the idea remains unmatched. A lot of times, old sure is gold. This is an example of how your stories do not have to be thrown on the face of your audience, they can be subtle yet powerful too.
Imagine success stories on your newsletters with images of real life, happy faces whose lives you’ve helped make better. This is nothing short of encouraging, for both you and your supporters. Here is an example of a newsletter by Charity: Water that uses simple texts and words to convey its success story while talking about the nonprofit’s effort in following up with the people they’ve helped. There is also a before – after image showing how good change can really brighten a life.
Newsletter Done Right
These storytelling examples for nonprofit fundraising, among others, have been able to impact lives in ways more than one. The inspiration to make your fundraising better should actually come from within. Storytelling can always be made better through creative use of your website, eblasts, social media pages and newsletters. Always remember, stories are what compel actions.