The most effective approach to nonprofit marketing is simply telling great stories.
Great stories have a vivid setting. Great stories have three-dimensional characters. Great stories are full of struggle and tension.
And, most importantly, great stories are filled with emotion.
If you want your readers to listen to you, if you want your readers to learn something from you, if you want your readers to take action, then you need to tell them great stories.
Because telling great stories makes them FEEL something.
And when they FEEL something, they are more likely to remember what you’ve told them,
And they are more likely to take action.
If you are not telling great stories then you are not engaging the emotions of your audience.
Emotion is everything
Talking about the technical approach of your organizations does NOT generate emotion.
Reciting your mission statement does NOT generate emotion.
Figures, numbers, and facts do NOT generate emotion.
Bring these things to life through story, though, and everything changes.
Let people learn what you do by telling a story about who you help.
Teach people your mission by telling them a story of that mission achieved.
Bring facts, figures, and numbers to life by giving them a face and telling their story.
It is a privilege to tell the stories of those you serve.
No one can tell their story but you.
No one will hear their story unless you tell it.
It is not about you, or what you need.
It is about the people you serve and what your readers can do for them.
Tell this story.
This is the story that matters.
Storytelling drives action
When you tell a great story your readers feel the same emotions that your hero is feeling.
Your readers begin to develop empathy for your hero.
This is where the magic happens.
When your hero is lost, desperate, or in need of help, your readers feel the same way.
When your hero faces their biggest challenge, at the height of the tension in the story, your readers root for their success.
Then, when your hero makes that all-important decision and takes that final action that saves the day, your readers will want to do the same thing.
They will want to make the same choice.
They will want to be heroes, too!
And that is when you, oh so deftly, offer them a call to action.
Give them what they want.
Give them a chance to be the hero.
Storytelling creates an emotional connection to your mission
Telling great nonprofit stories builds an emotional connection between your audience and your organization’s mission.
The more your readers empathize with the people you serve the more strongly they will want to help them.
The more your readers understand the impact your work has on your beneficiaries the more they will want to contribute to your cause, even if success is not always easy.
The closer your readers feel to the work you do, the stronger their emotional connection to your mission.
Telling the stories of your beneficiaries–putting them in the context of your beneficiaries–will do more for generating support around your mission, than telling people about your mission and explaining why it is important.
Storytelling is engaging
Telling great stories makes your content relevant, edifying, emotional, and entertaining.
Whenever I hear people ask, “How do we create more engaging content?”
The first thing I say is, “Tell great stories.”
Great stories make them THINK and make them FEEL.
Great stories heighten emotion and prime your readers to take action.
Once they are ready to do something, all you have to do is direct their actions.
Follow up those stories with a clear and intentional call to action.
- The most effective approach to nonprofit marketing is simply telling great stories.
- Tell the story about the people you serve and what your readers can do for them.
This is the story that matters most.
- Storytelling creates an emotional connection to your mission
- Storytelling is engaging content
- Storytelling drives action