8 Tips for Nonprofit Storytelling

Storytelling is a great way for donors to feel a strong connection to your nonprofit and the work you do. A compelling story can often be more powerful than statistics because of the emotional connection donors will feel. Here are 8 tips to improve your nonprofit's storytelling: 

1. Use real people 

People feel more empathetic to a cause when they are able to put a name and a face to an issue. Focus on real community members who are benefiting from you nonprofit's work to make donors feel a stronger connection. 

2. Focus on one person 

You may be inclined to share every person and family your nonprofit has impacted. Instead, dive deeply into one story. This allows you to provide more details on the person's backstory, and exactly how your nonprofit has made a difference in their life. 

Susan G. Komen  has a section of their blog dedicated to in depth stories of breast cancer survivors. 

Susan G. Komen has a section of their blog dedicated to in depth stories of breast cancer survivors. 

3. Include an Interview 

It's one thing for a donor to hear your nonprofit's view of an issue, but it is even more powerful to get the story from the people who are being directly impacted. A transcription or video interview from a recipient of your nonprofit's work will give the donors a direct connection to where their dollars are going. 

The Robin Hood Foundation has great video content, each interviewing one person they are helping

4. Incorporate pictures and video 

Pictures and videos are key to storytelling. When donors can see the family who is being helped it allows them to draw parallels to their own friends and family which will make them more motivated to give. 

Screen Shot 2018-04-09 at 5.21.25 PM.png

5. Prove their donation makes a difference 

Make sure your story includes the specific things your nonprofit is doing to help the people in need. Donors will be more compelled to give if they can see the direct impact their donations will make. 

6. Keep it short and sweet

People are inundated with content all day while they are browsing the internet and social media. Make sure your video, blog or social media post are concise and informative. 

7. Combine your story with statistics

Once a reader is drawn in by your nonprofit's storytelling, statistics and hard data will become more meaningful to them. Couple your story with a few statistics that directly relate to the main focus. 

Charity Water  combines a picture of one child drinking clean water with a statistic as the caption. 

Charity Water combines a picture of one child drinking clean water with a statistic as the caption. 

8. Include a call to action 

After viewers are inspired by your storytelling, make sure it's as easy as possible for them to donate! Include a clear call to action in your video, blog post or social media posts that directs donors to your online giving platform or to information on your next fundraising event. 


For more tips, check out this article and this article from nonprofit consultant, and storytelling expert, Julia Campbell


If you have more questions about nonprofit strategy you can always reach out to the DipJar fundraising experts for help. It's what we love to do!