One of the most underutilized tools in story collection is sharing donor reaction stories. Let me explain.
Collecting stories and stories leads from programs staff and colleagues is one of the biggest barriers to non-profit storytelling. Consistently my research has overwhelmingly pointed to collecting stories as a big headache. When we dig down into why this is a persistent problem for so many fundraising and communications professionals we discover the following:
- Staff need a great deal of clarity and direction with regards to the kinds of stories you want to collect
- There needs to be tools or systems in places for stories to be easily collected and shared
- Educating and informing colleagues about storytelling is not done to the extent that it needs to be done in order to be effective.
There is a fourth piece to this puzzle, which also happens to close the loop on story collection. I also think it can be a powerful catalyst to creating a great organizational culture at your non-profit.
What is it? Feedback
The Power of Feedback
Feedback is an important tool in the professional setting. Receiving feedback is what keeps us engaged and connected to our work. This is especially true if you are struggling with a new task. Receiving feedback on what we are doing can motivate us to stay the course or provide us with insights as to how we can do better.
In the realm of non-profit storytelling, providing feedback to the staff who are key to story collection is crucial.
Story collection isn’t necessarily part of their standard job description. It’s something extra they do to help the whole organization and you. I think it’s important to recognize this because recognition and gratitude can go a long way in this instance.
But beyond recognition and gratitude, there is another form of positive feedback that you can provide to colleagues who support story collection efforts. You can tell them about donors’ reactions to the stories that they have collected.
Use Donor Reaction Stories as a Form of Feedback
Donor reaction stories are stories about those notes, emails and phone calls you receive from donors where they comment about the content of a fundraising or communications piece that they received. Specifically they share a positive reaction to a story that was in that content. You probably hear these more often than you think you do and I would encourage you to start writing down what these donors say to you.
Just as your colleagues share stories with you, you can share these kinds of donor stories with them. Sharing these donor stories with staff that are participating in story collecting can be incredibly motivating.
Here’s the thing – when you share positive donor reactions to a story that someone collected and shared with you, you are positively reinforcing their efforts. You are showing them that their time and effort with storytelling was not wasted. In fact, it is greatly appreciated by someone outside of the organization.
This is a simple form of feedback that you can incorporate as a part your non-profit story collection process that can have profound results on your organization’s culture and storytelling.
Upcoming Webinar: How to Collect Inspiring Stories With Ease
June 26 at 10 am PST/ 1 pm EST
During this 90-minute webinar learn the tools and systems you need to know in order to collect more stories more easily.