Welcome to The Storytelling Non-Profit resource section - a curated list of the tools and websites that I recommend for storytelling, fundraising, and donor communication.
I have tested every recommendation on this page and wouldn’t share them with you if I didn’t believe if them. I hope you enjoy these resources as much as I have!
Yours in Storytelling,
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Books That Will Inspire You
The Storytelling Non-Profit: A practical guide to telling stories that raise money and awareness by Vanessa Chase Lockshin - You’ve probably heard that storytelling is the best way to raise money and awareness for your non-profit. But - how do you tell inspiring stories? I have been answering this questions for non-profits through my training and consulting work, and now through my book. The Storytelling Non-Profit is a portable consultant for fundraisers, communications professionals, and executive directors who want to tell stories.
The Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications by Jeff Brooks - This book taught me so much about writing well in a fundraising context. My book is highlighted, dog-eared and filled with margin notes. I keep it on my desk and reference it often, and I have no doubt you will, too!
Making Money With Donor Newsletters by Tom Ahern - Donor newsletters don’t have to be boring. Tom’s book will show you how to not only write a great newsletter but write a newsletter that actually makes your organization money.
The Storytelling Non-Profit Master Class is the signature online class where non-profit professionals gain the skills and confidence they need to be great storytellers. Over 150 organization have graduated from the Master Class.
You'll learn the basics of great storytelling, have a plan for collecting the right stories, understanding how to write a story and how to get the story in the hands of donors over the course of this 6-week online class.
There are lots of opportunities for storytelling in the digital space and video is a great medium to use. Nonprofit Film School will show you how to create amazing videos from scratch. You don't need to be a Hollywood director or spend thousands of dollars on a video production company. You can create great videos - on time and on budget.
I personally took this class in the summer of 2016 and learned so much from it. It's even inspired me to start creating videos for The Storytelling Non-Profit blog. You can check out my review of Nonprofit Film School here.
Must Have Tech Tools
Bloomerang - If you’re going to have a successful fundraising program, you need to have a database. An Excel spreadsheet is not going to cut it! But you also don’t have tons of time to manage your database. You need something easy to use that build around helping you achieve your fundraising goals. This database is user-friendly, built around donor retention, and maximizing your fundraising opportunities.
MailChimp - Email is an essential digital tool for communication. It’s great for email appeals, newsletters, action emails, and more. There are lots of email service providers out there, but MailChimp is awesome! Not only is it easy to use, it’s affordable for non-profits. This is the email service provider that I use to send out my weekly newsletter. I’ve been a customer since 2012 and absolutely love this product.
Microphone - Often times when you interview someone for a story, you also want to capture high-quality audio that can be used for various projects. Having a great microphone is a lifesaver! I like using the Audio-Technica microphone. It easily plugs into a laptop, comes with a handy stand, and does a great job of not picking up a ton of background noise.
Evernote - One the easiest things you can do to improve your storytelling is starting to jot down more notes. What I personally love about Evernote is that allows you to always have a notebook with you, but without having to remember your physical notebook. This is an app that you can install on your phone, tablet and computer. It even has a recording function that you could use to record stories.
Check out my video of how nonprofits can use Evernote here.
Zapier - I heart Zapier so much, I can’t even tell you. This amazing app makes my business run smoothly and keeps me sane. Essentially what it can do is get two totally separate websites, CRMs or apps to talk to each other. For example, every time you get an email about a story, Zapier can automatically add it to Evernote. It’s an awesome productivity tool that I seriously love.