Story telling is one of the most quintessential ways a non-profit can get its mission across. Donors, volunteers, constituents, and funders all want and need to know the facts, but they also want to be captivated by what you are telling them. Statistics are educational, but stories inspire people. How you need to craft your non-profit’s story depends on who you are speaking to and why you are speaking to them. Like an elevator pitch, you want to keep your story interesting and engaging.
Who are you speaking to?
How you tell you story should be determined on how many people this person represents. If it is just an individual donor the story should be more personalized. If this person represents a corporation or organization, the story should focus on impact and how a donation or partnership would benefit them.
What is this person or organization interested in?
If your organization focuses on primary and secondary education, but the person you are talking to is interested in middle school, your story should focus on the work you do with middle school students. Pinpointing a specific interest will help guide your story in a way that will hold their attention; a person is more likely to give or participate when you are telling a story through their worldview. However, you shouldn’t change your mission to draw donors or partners. It will become obvious that you were leading them on.
Speak passionately and have visuals
Story telling is most effective when its obvious that you are passionate about what you are discussing. The more energized you are about your organization, the more that energy is contagious to those who are listening. People tend to get excited about tangible examples of program success; showing someone a picture of your constituents and your program connected to your story creates a ‘show and tell’ response. They are not only hearing what your non-profit is doing, they get to see what kind of impact they can have if they participate.
Start crafting, and good luck!