The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

3 Musts for Better Stories

Everyone knows that storytelling is a win for nonprofits, but not all stories are created equal.

To truly resonate with your readers, your story needs to have three essential ingredients:

A strong emotional pull. Stories should make us feel something. Happy. Sad. Outraged. Inspired. All of these emotions can make an impact, but above all else, an amazingly effective message needs to make your reader feel, then act. Not think, then act. Not think, then feel, then act. FEEL, then act. Don’t disconnect these two steps.

Lead with a strong pull of emotion, engage your reader’s senses, and then ask them to take action.

A singular focus. Resist the urge to pack everything into one story—you’ll only confuse your reader. Stories work best when they are rich, yet simple, and are laser-focused on one message, one issue, and one person. You likely have many stories to tell, but focus on telling one distinct story at a time for best results.

A clear tie to the reader. Your audience should quickly and clearly understand why your story matters to them. Does it tap into something they have experienced? Does it affect the community they love? Think about how to incorporate details that are meaningful to your supporters, then underscore your donors’ role in the story. Are they the hero? What can (or did) they make happen?

There are many components that come together for an amazing story, but without these core elements, your message will fall flat. How are you incorporating all three into your donor communications?

Need some help writing more effective stories for your nonprofit’s outreach? I’ve got your back.

In our next free webinar, I’ll walk through a simple framework for more compelling stories that will help you connect with donors, raise more money, and retain supporters by reporting your impact in a highly memorable and relatable way. Register now to save your seat for Storytelling with the Emotional Brain. (Can’t attend the live session? Never fear. Go ahead and register and I’ll make sure you get a copy of the slides and the recording.)

Build Stronger Relationships with Your Donors

Learn More

Share your thoughts!

Join the conversation to offer your insight and experience. Have a question? We’d love to hear it!

About This Blog

Linda Lombardi
Content Manager

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

Read More

Want to raise more money and learn how to market your cause with bigger impact? You’re in the right place! The Nonprofit Marketing Blog is managed by our team of experts here at Network for Good. We’re here to bring you the best in nonprofit marketing trends, fundraising techniques, technology developments, and amazing nonprofit examples.

Want to be a better nonprofit marketer and fundraiser? Get alerts for free tips, key content, and other training opportunities.

Subscribe