Recently I was honored to be invited to deliver a web class for Firespring the superstar website folks. We talked about Powerfully Sharing Stories to Attract and Retain Your Donors.

Since there were a few questions asked during the session that relate to many of you I thought I’d share my answers here.

From Kathryn: We train farmers in Guatemala to be lay Health Workers in their remote villages. We support them with expert consultation from U.S. doctors and a local bricks and mortar clinic in a small town in the region.

Question: Is there some special consideration for communicating about activities and people in other countries?

Other than having to gather stories via long-distance, the principles of finding, crafting and sharing stories are still the same.
Identify Mission Moments for Nonprofit Storytelling

1. Ask open-ended questions.

2. Share the exact results – things you can measure – about one person’s experience with you. i.e. learned the basics of how to be a health care worker.

3.Share the transformations – things you can’t measure. i.e. Feels capable, strong or smart

Share Your Nonprofit Stories Everywhere

4. Craft a powerful story that tells what life was like before your organization got involved; what did your organization do; and how is life different now.

5. Be careful to share a STORY and not a report.

6. Then share your powerful story everywhere!

Example of amazing nonprofit story
My friends at For Kids Sake, a tiny but mighty organization supporting orphanages and schools in Bangladesh have done an amazing job of collecting and sharing stories.

They regularly share powerful mission moment examples of one person whose life is better because of the work they do raising money here in the U.S.

Which leads me to Katheryn’s second question.

Question: What’s the best way to coordinate stories across online platforms?

I hereby give you permission to share the same story across ALL platforms.

Share Nonprofit Stories Across PlatformsTake a look at what the folks at charity: water do in utilizing the same story on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and their website.

They not only do an excellent job sharing mission moment stories, they also share their money story so we know exactly how we can make a difference.

There is a misconception that we have to have a new story every time we post a message or send an appeal. The opposite is actually true for these reasons:
1. Most of your supporters do not follow your messages across all platforms. Don’t worry that they will get “bored” with the same message if you are using compelling bits of information in your mission moment.

2. People in general want to know more about someone you’ve talked about – if your story is powerfully crafted. Provide updates six months or a year later that allow your community to learn something new. Make sure the language you use causes them to feel that same awe, shock, joy or other emotion about the person in your story.

Look for Part II of Your Storytelling Questions Answered next week!

To view the Powerfully Sharing Stories to Attract and Retain Your Donors webinar replay click here