One of the blogs that I now read regularly, Katya’s Nonprofit Marketing Blog, had a feature recently on the best advice for nonprofit executives regarding fundraising and marketing. The piece that resonated most with me related to storytelling–the idea that we are most successful raising money for our causes when we can tell stories that bring people in and help them to connect with our work.
That got me thinking, not just about how important storytelling is to advocacy (you’ll so often be asked for the ‘human face’ of a particular social policy or social problem–what policymakers really want in those instances is a good story, that they can tell to themselves and to others to explain why they took a particular stance) but also about other ways in which advocacy and fundraising overlap for nonprofit organizations. In both cases, we’re asking people to participate, to stand with us, to invest in our cause–with their money, their time, or their political reputation.
And so we need to be in the business of collecting stories, of weaving this storytelling into our advocacy and our fundraising, and, also importantly, of then learning to tell the story of our own advocacy successes, so that we are continually ‘writing’ a new, more just future. And, maybe, we’ll even be able to raise some money while we’re at it.
Once Upon A Time Presentation