You hear it everywhere: Tell stories to raise more money, engage your board, recruit more volunteers, raise awareness. Does sharing a story really have that power?
What is your organizational story?
Is there “one” organizational story that will magically stand out?
The reality is many different stories are regularly shared in your organization. You have categories of stories being told and re-told.
My work is about shifting the “type” of stories shared so your listeners, readers, and even the story teller shares stories that inspire others to do something.
My definition of an organizational story combines two definitions:
Organization = \ôrɡənəˈzāSH(ə)n\ An organized body of people with a particular purpose, especially a business, society, association
Story = \ ˈstȯr-ē \
- An account of incidents or events
- A fictional narrative shorter than a novel
We each have our own lens and point of view + the work, the people, the “lore” all filter into our awareness to create an organizational story.
The common denominator of ALL organizational stories is they are memorable.
I take it a step further: Make them inspiring.
Using storytelling to build an engaged community and raise more money is done every day:
• What brands of clothes, cars, food, do you choose because of how they make you feel?
• What stories get told over and over again at family gatherings? Staff or board retreats?
• What do your clients, donors, and volunteers say about their experience with you?
It’s simple: Our job as fundraising and communication professionals is to ensure stories people tell about us are inspiring and memorable.
Here’s how this works:
My personal story: I grew up wanting to help people and I wanted to travel and see the world. I wanted to be governor of Minnesota or a flight attendant.
Mission of Ignited Fundraising: Bring ease and joy to fundraising for as many nonprofit organizations as possible, so they meet or exceed their goals.
The organizational story I share most often is about a little 5-year-old girl named Madison. I’m incredibly proud of how my work helped the organization.
But, I share the story to help people like you understand the value of my work: how can we use stories to cause action.
At the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference I’ll do a deeper dive into finding and crafting your organizational story. Stay tuned for how to download the slides and handouts from the session.
For coaching to find and craft your organizational story check this out.