Successful nonprofits tell great stories.
You’ve been telling stories for years — stories of success and triumph, and plenty of hardship and struggle. You know that the most important story for your members, donors, and volunteers to hear is that their efforts and contributions are making an impact.
The best storytelling medium today? Blogging.
The best medium to get your message out efficiently and consistently is through a blog. Telling your story, building trust, fostering compassion, empowering community, and spreading the word are all powerful uses of a nonprofit’s blog. You can grow your reach and impact by sharing stories this way.
Because of storytelling’s integral role in your nonprofit’s work and narrative, the time is now to share this story with others. With the proliferation of blogging platforms, social media, and nonprofit communities, your story has greater reach than ever before.
Here’s how to do it most effectively as a nonprofit organization:
1. Tell the origin story (if it hasn’t yet been told).
Your origin story is the first step. The motives and passion behind a nonprofit organization’s beginnings can speak volumes about your mission, purpose and show how much you’ve accomplished since.
Sharing your experience shows potential donors, constituents, and volunteers that you have what it takes to succeed and thrive as a nonprofit. The future you see gives people an understanding of where they can help today to reach the organization’s goals of tomorrow.
2. Build trust.
Trust is essential in building your nonprofit’s community. Donors need to trust that their gifts will be used judiciously and volunteers want to know that their work contributes to the organization’s mission.
Your blog can tell the stories of donors and volunteers. For donors, you can share fundraising success stories: how much was raised, profile key community members, where the money went—your community will be appreciative of such transparency. For volunteers, you can showcase previous volunteering efforts: who your volunteers impacted, their role, and exactly how their work contributed to the organization’s success.
And most of all, you share stories of those people who you work tirelessly to assist, advocating the value of your efforts and calling on potential contributors to join the cause, which brings us to…
3. Flex that pathos.
As trust is built, emotion and loyalty will follow. You don’t need us to tell you that pathos and compassion are highly motivational, no doubt, and blogs have the ability to tap emotions in ways few other mediums can.
The stories alone can move others to action. The people and communities your nonprofit impacts can grip and move your audience to action. Oftentimes, simply raising awareness and putting faces to those in need are enough to mobilize potential contributors.
From a practical perspective, the stories and general information in your blog cultivate a specific, emotionally powerful voice unique to your nonprofit, essential for branding. Developing a consistency with your nonprofit’s brand and message will only aid in your efforts.
4. Foster community & empower evangelists of the cause.
As you build trust and passion for the cause on your blog, you can then leverage your blog as the means to grow and rally a community of supporters and partners in spreading the word.
Strive to create an active, engaging, and transformational resource through your blog. Encourage community members to bring their own stories and contribute. Your blog’s community-building efforts will help evangelize your mission and vision while motivating others to do the same.