4 Steps to Encourage Fundraising Using Storytelling

Stories are one of the most powerful ways for you to connect with your potential donors. Who doesn’t have a favorite memory of hearing a well-loved story? Incorporating great storytelling into your fundraising efforts will demonstrate the humanistic, emotional side of your organization.

1. Find the Fun

In a recent video of Peter Sagal, the charming host of NPR’s “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me,” he suggests that giving can be fun. Getting your potential donors to commit doesn’t have to be painful and unpleasant. Find a way to emphasize the joy that comes from altruistic giving! Telling a story offers a form of entertainment that can encourage people to donate cheerfully and enthusiastically.

Although you may experience a temptation to rattle off depressing facts and statistics, as they often clearly demonstrate the immense need for your organization’s efforts. However, introducing a positive note into your marketing strategy will allow donors to enjoy the process. You can regale them with the shocking statistics once they have made an emotional connection to your story.

2. Present a Character

At the heart of every great story is a compelling, complicated character. Your hero or heroine needs to draw attention to your cause in a way that produces hope. Choosing a character to focus on that has benefited from the services offered by your non-profit is a smart step.

Tell the story of why the individual needed help and how your organization connected with him or her. Focus on the journey of the character and how he or she is working towards a better future, even if there is no clear guarantee of his or her success. Since marketing is really all about relationship building, present content that allows your audience to build an emotional connection with your character.

3. Develop the Story

A great story hooks you in so that you feel like you have to know the ending. Guide your audience through an emotional journey that explains the significance of your organization. Although your story may be about a character that hasn’t reached a definite happy ending yet, leave your audience with a sense of hope and satisfaction.

Emotional involvement is the goal of storytelling in marketing. Pack your story with every emotion you can manage, from love and joy to sadness and anger. Everyone in your audience has felt all of these emotions, so they will be able to relate and sympathize with your character.

4. Drive It Home

As you wrap up your story, allow your audience’s emotional involvement to discover an outlet for action in your organization. The whole point of your story is to promote the cause of your non-profit, so make it clear that the involvement of the listeners is a possibility. You want the conclusion of the story to motivate them to action, either in the form of joining your organization or donating funds.

Storytelling is a reliable way of creating content that will encourage link building and social sharing, which will generate more leads and conversions for your non-profit. Don’t forget to leave people wanting more so that they will keep coming back to find out the rest of the story!

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