Three Important Stories Nonprofits Forget To Tell

Successful nonprofit marketing is all about storytelling. The most common stories use compelling content to capture the outcomes of programs and services. But sometimes there are gems hidden deep within your nonprofit operations. Below are three seldom told stories, that if told, would go a long way toward securing more donors and keeping the ones you already have.

Employee Stories: Put A Face(s) To Your Nonprofit

Employee Stories - Nonprofit Storytelling

Ask most nonprofit employees about their job, and they will tell you it involves long hours and a lot of work; but it’s extremely rewarding.

Employee stories are often left out of the nonprofit marketing plan when they actually should make up a good portion of the content. If we want donors to see the value in donating to the general fund or to a specific project or program, we need to show them how the money is spent and connect them to the people doing the work.

Put a face to your nonprofit. Actually, put several faces to your nonprofit. We should be sharing about each employee and their unique role, as well as how the employee contributes to the efforts of the team and the nonprofit as a whole.

How nonprofits benefit from sharing employee stories:

  • Employee stories provide meaningful, community-focused content for social media channels. Employees are respected, well-liked members of the community, and your nonprofit’s association with them is a blessing. Share about it!
  • Sharing stories about employees and their role in the nonprofit is key to humanizing the nonprofit.
  • Mission-focused employee stories go way beyond sharing the employee’s name and title. These stories leave readers feeling like they know more about the person and how important their work is for helping the nonprofit reach its outcomes.
  • On the business side, employee stories can lift morale and improve cohesiveness and collaboration among the team.
  • Publishing employee stories introduces the nonprofit to an audience it might not otherwise be able to reach.

Most importantly, employee stories compel donors to think, “Wow, this person is doing all this. I want to help.”

Immediate Fundraising Updates: Build Trust And Share The ROI For Donors

Donor UpdateFundraising is hard work. Every fundraiser is generally an all-hands-on-deck event with everyone working long, hard hours up to and during the event. However, for your event attendees and donors, fundraisers are a transaction. Donors are contributing their hard-earned dollars and placing their trust in your organization. They need something in return from you: an update.

Don’t wait for the annual report or monthly newsletter to let donors know how important their contribution is and the specific impact it makes on your work. Send a follow-up to donors right away to let them know what you are going to do with the funds. It’s important to keep your donors in the loop through regular updates. Also, include the marketing content that garners the most shares, like creative graphics and short powerful videos.

How nonprofits benefit from post-event updates:

  • Providing updates will help keep your donors. There are thousands of nonprofits vying for donations. If you aren’t communicating with your donors on a consistent basis, you can bet other nonprofits are.
  • Regular updates to donors help build stronger relationships with them and keep your nonprofit top of mind.
  • Keeping donors informed fosters transparency and trust.

Board Member Stories: Welcome, Personal/Professional Stories, and Community Involvement

Example of a welcome for nonprofit board member

Create eye-catching graphics to tell your board member stories!

If your nonprofit needs and wants board members to be more involved in the nonprofit, especially with fundraising, we have a few ideas to help. It’s easy to forget that board members are volunteers and they have other full-time jobs and families and a personal life. We have huge expectations for board members, but it’s not realistic to expect them to meet these obligations on their own.

Like any volunteer, board members appreciate gratitude, and recognition and sharing their stories is a good way to do that. Board member stories also make excellent mission-focused content.

Here is the kind of content to create about your board members:

  • welcome each new board member
  • share each board member’s history and a reason for volunteering
  • highlight their other contributions in the community

These are all good, meaningful stories!

Tips for making it easier for board members to perform well:

If you want high performance from your board members, make it easier for them to help your nonprofit.

  • Create the dynamic mission-focused content for them.
  • Use board members as sources in the content. Interview them for articles, podcasts, and webinars.
  • Give board members easy access to the content online with suggestions for distributing it. For example, store content in Dropbox and share the folders with board members.

Just as with your donors and volunteers, keep board members updated. Don’t wait until the board meeting to let them know how much they have helped. Send regular updates to keep them engaged with and connected to your work.

Bonus Board Development Training

The above are just three examples of the many, many stories hidden deeply within nonprofit operations. Learn how to uncover more content heroes with our new 27-part video series.  We use only free tools and provide step-by-step instructions for creating engaging, high-value content.

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