Stories have been a huge trend in the nonprofit sector in the past five years, but our sector has been telling stories for much longer. Year after year, we are committed to telling people about our work, progress, and needs. Each time we communicate these things, we are communicating pieces of the larger narrative about our organization.
But things are changing, and storytelling is becoming a much more intentional act. Across the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, storytelling is a buzzword and communicators are consumed with telling stories that will engage their target audience. In the nonprofit sector, donors make up that audience. Our challenge is getting our current donors to give more and acquiring new donors who care about the cause. This is not a new or small task for our sector.
“The State of Storytelling” is a project that came to life out of an interest to know how the nonprofit sector is actually using stories and what results organizations are getting. Stories are constantly talked about as a tactic, but are they really helping nonprofits get better fundraising results?
Together, Network for Good and I teamed up to survey more than 400 nonprofits about storytelling.
Here are a few of my favorite findings from our research:
- The top three most popular channels for storytelling are: social media (72%), newsletters (68%), and website (67%).
- After using stories in communications or fundraising materials, NONE of the survey respondents saw a decrease in giving. The vast majority in fact saw some increase in giving.
You’ll also see how different types of causes (ie health care, education, international development, environmental, etc.) are using stories. It’s pretty fascinating t