Great storytelling captures people’s attention and drives them to action. When facts and characters, logic and emotion, and cause and effect work together artfully, the resulting stories affect us in a deep way.
As data take on a larger role in nonprofit communications, many groups have realized that stories bring the numbers to life, and together they powerfully convey a group’s impact.
"The stories are really what make the data matter," says Connie French, director of communications and marketing for Health Leads, a Boston charity that recruits college-student volunteers to help low-income people connect with social services. "Percentages and numbers don’t really mean anything until you see them through the lens of something like a child suffering with asthma."
In the articles and resources below, you can find expert advice for collecting, telling, distributing, and measuring the effectiveness of your organization’s stories.
May 13, 2015
7 Ways to Make Your Nonprofit’s Storytelling Stronger
Choose creative narratives, avoid jargon, and provide a firsthand perspective to make your stories resonate with supporters.
July 30, 2014
How to Turn Audience Emotion Into Action
Make sure your listeners can see themselves in the story, helping to solve the problem, then give them a way to get involved immediately.
March 18, 2015
3 Tips for Telling Stories That Move People to Action
Using data alone — or telling stories that focus just on an individual — can backfire. Here are better ways to frame a story that can change people’s minds.
February 17, 2015
In Storytelling, Focusing on Solutions, Not Problems
Some groups are adopting a storytelling genre that focuses on how communities rebuild and recover after natural disasters and other difficult times.
August 27, 2014
Technology, Imagination, and Organizing With Storytelling
In the final Storytelling Summer post, two questions on how people tell and consume stories now—and why a strong story transcends medium.
October 08, 2014
Lessons in Nonprofit Storytelling From a Live Performance
Stories don’t have to be told through short online videos. There’s something powerful in hearing a story unmediated and straight from the source.