The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Two Ways to Leverage Multi-Channel Storytelling This December

Our survey of more than 400 nonprofits about their use for stories for The State of Storytelling whitepaper had two key findings:

  1. The participants saw positive outcomes from storytelling.
  2. The participants believed they could be telling stories more often and using them more strategically.

Like the survey participants, you probably know that it takes a lot of time and effort to craft a great story.  From finding the right story to sharing it in a compelling way, it’s hard to imagine that you’ll only tell a story once. But too many nonprofits take this one-time approach to storytelling.

Download the Whitepaper: The State of Storytelling in the Nonprofit Sector

To change this pattern, we recommend thinking multi-channel. That means sharing a story in many places (online and offline) in order to maximize people’s exposure to the story and more important, encourage them to support your organization. This concept follows similar principles in advertising: an audience generally need to encounter a message multiple times before an action is taken. This idea is also applicable to fundraising messages and calls to action. This approach is great for storytelling because you will be leveraging your work and maximizing the outcomes.

With year-end fundraising and #GivingTuesday around the corner, now is a great time to explore how you can take a multi-channel approach to storytelling. Here are two examples centered on key fundraising events:

Year-End Appeals

Let’s say your organization sends out a direct mail piece, three emails, and daily social media posts during December. Each of those donor touch points is an opportunity for storytelling.

One approach is to use your best story each of the touch points. Now, you won’t tell the story the same way each time. For instance, a story about someone you’ve helped may be told from that person’s perspective in the mailer and shared from a staff member’s perspective in an email. The idea here is to build the case for donors’ support by getting them invested in the story.

#GivingTuesday

Does your organization participate in #GivingTuesday? This event is another great opportunity to leverage a story’s impact because you will have multiple opportunities to share it with donors during the day.

Since #GivingTuesday is a digital event, focus on your  online storytelling opportunities. This might include sending emails, crafting social media posts, or producing a video. Again, look for your best story and create an immersive online experience for donors to encounter and experience that story. For example, if you are sending a few emails on #GivingTuesday, you could tell just a piece of the story in each of those emails. This creates a continuous story arc over all of your emails and gives people a reason to keep opening and reading.

How can you get started? Pick either your year-end appeal or #GivingTuesday campaign, then make a list of all the touch points you have with donors. This will help you see the variety of opportunities you have to share the right story, at the right time, and in the right way.

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About This Blog

Lisa Bonanno
Vice President of Digital Marketing

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

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