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Storytelling for Nonprofits
Nonprofit Sustainability Through the Art of Storytelling
Curated by Wilton Blake
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How to Give a Gift of Emotionally Engaging Content

This piece was written by Raf Stevens, author of "No Story No Fans"

 

I selected this because the author gives some very good tips on how to use storytelling that lets your audience know who you are and why they should trust you. People work with and buy from people they like. If you're not connecting with others through your content online, this article will help you.

 

Intro:

 

Many organizations are not even aware that their message has lost all connection with their audience

 

The strange thing with all this is that the solution to creating compelling content is so obvious: Use stories and storytelling

 

Do you think that you or your business is in touch with its own stories? And can they be told in a way that connects them with their audience in this hyper-connected world?

 

Chances are this might not be the case if you have trouble answering any of the following questions:

 

**What story really defines you?

 

**How does your story fit with the heart of your organization?

 

**How is your story emotionally engaging to your audience?

 

**Can your audiences retell your story?

 

**In what ways can they develop trust in your story and act upon it?

 

Here are a couple of good takeaways:

 

Remember the universal truth:

 

Nobody wants to be sold, but everyone wants to be helped. Create content that:

 

**answers your audience's questions

 

**provides them with answers and solutions or demonstrates how your offerings can help them in their everyday lives

 

Build trust

 

Honesty among people is important, but trust is critical for marketers to gain audience support. So make sure your story demonstrates why you arae worthy of your audience's trust.

 

Curated by Jan Gordon covering "Storytelling, Social Media & Beyond"

 

Read full article here: [http://bit.ly/t2Wx1d]


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Stories Can Transform an Idea & Change the World!

 Absolutely brilliant, powerful and inspiring!

 

TED talk, TEDx East, Nancy Duarte, Presentation, Resonate, Slide:ology, slideology, duarte design...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfQF3DXG-S4


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How to Shape & Share Your Nonprofit Stories – Recruit the Right Board Members

How to Shape & Share Your Nonprofit Stories – Recruit the Right Board Members | Storytelling for Nonprofits | Scoop.it
some organizations like yours, that recognize the importance of telling their story, need help doing so. You're willing to take a strategic look at their communications efforts and work hard to figure out what you need.
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Working with Stories | Stanford Social Innovation Review

Working with Stories | Stanford Social Innovation Review | Storytelling for Nonprofits | Scoop.it
In a previous post, I presented the benefits of building a narrative organization—that is, an organization that continually elicits and shares stories. When embracing the benefits of working with stories, it’s important to keep two things in mind:

Engage Empathy


Develop and engage a keen sense of empathy. Consider what people physically and emotionally need in order to share their stories. Make certain that people are in no way coerced into sharing a story, and explore and protect against any possibilities that the teller may be stigmatized, or even harmed, because he or she has shared a story.

Remember that each individual wholly owns his or her stories. Personal stories are not commodities, to be taken from one person and given to another, in exchange for reimbursement of some sort. Aspen Baker, the leader of Exhale, a “pro-voice” organization that facilitates nonjudgmental sharing of stories about abortion experiences, asserts, “The storyteller must stay at the center of the story.”

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12 Glimpses into the Future of Storytelling - Nonprofits Take Note

12 Glimpses into the Future of Storytelling - Nonprofits Take Note | Storytelling for Nonprofits | Scoop.it
Transmedia. HTML5. Interactive storytelling. Mobile documentaries. These are the undeniable trends emerging from the storytelling world, and nonprofit organizations would be wise to take notice and hop on board. It's not just about the stand-alone video anymore-- it's about embedding your message into as many relevant platforms as possible. And if I were to venture a prediction myself, it's that tools like this will raise public awareness-- and public action-- to a whole new level.

Here's a list of 12 future-thinking projects, technologies, and forecasts that have caught my eye in the last several months:
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Movie Mondays - Methods for collecting and using your nonprofit's stories - Women's Philanthropy--Women's Issues

Movie Mondays - Methods for collecting and using your nonprofit's stories - Women's Philanthropy--Women's Issues | Storytelling for Nonprofits | Scoop.it
Nonprofit storytelling is still extremely important when it comes to fundraising. Sometimes it can be difficult to get the best stories and to use them to engage donors.

In this week's movie, Zan McColloch-Lussier tells you some of the methods he's used to collect and share stories. He also tells how one organization uses stories in such a way that it keeps him donating to them on a regular basis.

Here's the link to the movie:

http://www.501videos.com/mm2011/07/mm_2_story.html
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15 Tips to Building A Better NonProfit Marketing Strategy

15 Tips to Building A Better NonProfit Marketing Strategy | Storytelling for Nonprofits | Scoop.it
Storytelling is one of the premiere problems in the nonprofit marketing world. Nonprofit institutions tend to publish and distribute content that reads more like a portfolio than a story.
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Stories Are a Vital Source of Knowledge

Stories Are a Vital Source of Knowledge | Storytelling for Nonprofits | Scoop.it
<<< This is from 2009. But hey, isn't that what curation is all about? >>>

Imagine asking every one of your staff members: "Tell me about the time you felt most connected to the mission of our organization." Ask your program officers, your CFO, your facilities staff. Imagine the range of responses. Imagine the passion you will unleash, and the information you will glean.

Most of the stories you hear in response to that question will not be "diamonds," perfectly encapsulating the mission and brand of your organization. The stories and anecdotes you hear will be more like pebbles and sea glass -- small, colorful glimpses into the meaning of your organization and its work in the daily lives of the people it affects. They will teach you much about the depth and breadth of your organization's impact.
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Q&A with a Story Guru: Patrick Reinsborough Part 4: Society's Guiding Meta-Narratives Need to Shift

Q&A with a Story Guru: Patrick Reinsborough Part 4: Society's Guiding Meta-Narratives Need to Shift | Storytelling for Nonprofits | Scoop.it
Q: The storytelling movement seems to be growing explosively. Why now? What is it about this moment in human history and culture that makes storytelling so resonant with so many people right now?

A: I think storytelling and narrative are core to the human experience and have always been at the center of culture. However now I think we’re experiencing a growing interesting in story because there is increasingly recognition that many of the dominant meta-narratives that have been guiding our society need to shift.
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The Benefits of Building a Narrative Organization

The Benefits of Building a Narrative Organization | Storytelling for Nonprofits | Scoop.it
The value of narrative in your organization extends well beyond telling stories in your annual report and newsletters.

When an organization embraces narrative and applies it throughout its work, brand identity is clear and appealing; audiences are quickly and sustainably engaged; leaders appreciate and strategically share stories; and knowledge is easily gathered and shared.
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Email Fundraising Tip: Make your audience the hero of your story

Email Fundraising Tip: Make your audience the hero of your story | Storytelling for Nonprofits | Scoop.it
Storytelling can take your online campaign to the next level. But are you using stories effectively? Groups regularly add stories to email appeals. The online team at M+R Strategic Services decided to put stories to the test, and discovered that story-based email appeals often performed worse than fundraising emails without a story.

But not all story-based appeals fall short. Steve Daigneault and Colin Holtz, online strategists at M+R set out to figure out what was going on. And they found one core way to use stories effectively:

Make your supporter the hero of the story.
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Q&A with a Story Guru: Patrick Reinsborough Part 2: Helping Progressive Movements Communicate Compelling Stories

Q&A with a Story Guru: Patrick Reinsborough Part 2: Helping Progressive Movements Communicate Compelling Stories | Storytelling for Nonprofits | Scoop.it
smartMeme's Founding Story:

SmartMeme began as a three-day training exploring strategies for building a transformative, earth-centered social movement in a North American context. The founding collective brought together a number of people who were veterans of different social movements — fighting to protect the environment, stop wars, organizing for racial and economic justice.

We all shared a common analysis of the need for fundamental change in the direction of our society but brought very different skills to the table. My background was as a grassroots organizer, campaigner and direct action strategist.

The other founders included an advertiser, a filmmaker and a forest ecologist turned international finance campaigner. As the project evolved we were fortune to add a fifth person to our collective — a teacher who had decided to work as an educator in social movements rather than in a traditional class room setting. . . .
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Develop Your Storytelling Skills - Transcript of Discussion with Michael Margolis

Develop Your Storytelling Skills - Transcript of Discussion with Michael Margolis | Storytelling for Nonprofits | Scoop.it
Whether you are raising money or leading a charity, your personal story and the story of your organization can be a powerful tool to persuade others to follow—and to promote change.

But how do you develop your storytelling skills to benefit yourself and your organization?

Click through to the source to read the transcript of the discussion.
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The Pull of Narrative – In Search of Persistent Context

The Pull of Narrative – In Search of Persistent Context | Storytelling for Nonprofits | Scoop.it

Got a few minutes? Do you like something thought provoking?

 

In this excellent article, John Hagel for Edge Perspectives, starts off by saying that we all need context in a world where there are so many available options it can be disorienting. Ultimately however, he talks about the importance of narrative: defining it, giving examples of it and expressing its importance to us now, in a world where so many no longer resonate to the narratives that took us from what they replaced to the here and now.

 

He differentiates between personal, institutional and societal narrative, suggesting that the 2nd of these has particularly lost its way in recent years. My takeaways, which couple with my prior thoughts on the subject, are that personal narrative is going through a rebirth, as is that of smaller institutions. There is evidence of where larger institutions fails when they give up on narrative, and succeed when they create or embrace a new one. Unfortunately the area that we are furthest behind in is the most difficult area of all. Whether we agree or disagree with the societal narratives that got us this far, creating new unifying forces for us in this area is the real challenge. The context is in how we relate to the broader narrative.

 

There is a reason that stories which can unite people in their tens or hundreds of millions come around so rarely In an age of so much information, the task of creating the new narratives through which we can move forward in unison, is the most difficult it has ever been. And herein lies the challenge with which the article ends.

 

To quote:

 

"The role of a narrative is ultimately to attract, engage, motivate and call people to more fully achieve their potential. Narratives represent a powerful pull mechanism that can shape the world around us.


Who will craft these broader social narratives? Who even understands the need and power of a new set of social narratives? What would such narratives look like?"

 

Intro:

 

"We live in a world of ever more change and choice, a world where we have far more opportunity than ever to achieve our potential. That kind of world is enormously exciting, and full of options. But it is also"...

 

http://edgeperspectives.typepad.com/edge_perspectives/2011/05/the-pull-of-narrative-in-search-of-persistent-context.html


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Storytelling in Fundraising: When Your Donor Responds with These Five Simple Words, You’ve Succeeded | Rev. Eric Foley

Storytelling in Fundraising: When Your Donor Responds with These Five Simple Words, You’ve Succeeded | Rev. Eric Foley | Storytelling for Nonprofits | Scoop.it
Books and articles on storytelling and narrative in fundraising are proliferating nearly as quickly as bad storytelling and narrative in fundraising (could there be a connection?). In an effort to bring some rule-of-thumb type clarity to an increasingly foggy subject, permit me to share the five word response you need to be seeking from your hearers each time you speak:
I see myself in you.

In other words, you know you’ve succeeded in your storytelling efforts if at the conclusion of your story your listener feels two things:
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VolunteerSpot : The Power of Story Telling

VolunteerSpot : The Power of Story Telling | Storytelling for Nonprofits | Scoop.it
In the latest installment of VolunteerSpot's Summer of Service series, Tammi DeVille shares great tips on how to recruit and keep volunteers. Thanks Tammi!
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The Next Phase of Storytelling

For the past few months I have been deeply reflecting on the role of the storyteller. I have been looking at it both in the context of my sector, the non-profit sector, and well as in a much more broadly across sectors and geographies (the most obvious example of this rise in storytelling is the famous TED Conference).

To speak from experience in the non-profit sector we place tremendous emphasis this skills as it is one of the most powerful tools we have to create empathy, raise capital, and connect people.
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Fundraisers Are Storytellers, Part 1

Fundraisers Are Storytellers, Part 1 | Storytelling for Nonprofits | Scoop.it
For better or for worse, nonprofit leaders who raise funds are storytellers. They either bore people to death with their stories or they tell such powerful stories that people reach for their wallets.

How do nonprofit leaders tell boring stories?

They describe their programs using insider language and statistics. They say, “we have a developmental training program that teaches life skills to 72 adults with developmental disabilities from our community.”
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Why is Storytelling Important? Vonnegut Tells Us Why

Why is Storytelling Important? Vonnegut Tells Us Why | Storytelling for Nonprofits | Scoop.it
How does the public make sense of incoming information? Through stories.

What kinds of stories help the public make sense of information on social issues? Thematic stories.

People process new information best through narrative structure. Kurt Vonnegut, the famous American novelist of Slaughterhouse-five and Cat’s Cradle, knows this well. Watch this entertaining lecture as he lays the basic outline for three types of narrative structures.

What does this mean for those of us in the non-profit communications field?
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Wanted: Master Storytellers

Wanted: Master Storytellers | Storytelling for Nonprofits | Scoop.it
<<< This is from 2005. But hey, isn't that what curation is all about? >>>

This is about storytelling: how journalists tell stories to citizens; how nonprofits tell stories to journalists to convey to citizens; how we tell stories to each other to try to make sense of what is happening to our families, neighbors, and people we don’t know. And this is a plea for better storytelling from the people in clinics and classrooms, programs and public agencies, who have their hands on America’s future.
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Q&A with a Story Guru: Patrick Reinsborough Part 5: Too Many Contemporary Uses of Storytelling are Coercive, Destructive, Pathological - A Storied Career

Q&A with a Story Guru: Patrick Reinsborough Part 5: Too Many Contemporary Uses of Storytelling are Coercive, Destructive, Pathological - A Storied Career | Storytelling for Nonprofits | Scoop.it
Q: Are there any current uses of storytelling that repel you or that you feel are inappropriate?

A: Tragically far too many of the contemporary uses of storytelling are not only inappropriate, but downright coercive, destructive, and pathological. Currently, many of the best storytellers and image-crafters in our culture are hired guns that sell us an imagined vision of ourselves, complete with the appropriate brand of carbonated beverage, designer jeans, or suitably inspirational political candidate.
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Q&A with a Story Guru: Patrick Reinsborough Part 3: Book Gives Momentum to Harnessing Power of Narrative

Q&A with a Story Guru: Patrick Reinsborough Part 3: Book Gives Momentum to Harnessing Power of Narrative | Storytelling for Nonprofits | Scoop.it
Q: What kind of response have you had to your book Re:Imagining Change?

A: The response has been really fantastic. The book has been out for a little over a year, and it’s now on its second printing. . . . It’s helped advanced the discussions around narrative and framing to include a more refined sense of power and how to apply a narrative power analysis to social-justice campaigns.
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How the Nonprofit Sector is Misusing its Greatest Asset

How the Nonprofit Sector is Misusing its Greatest Asset | Storytelling for Nonprofits | Scoop.it
Combing through my attic a couple of weeks ago, I noticed a box of books from my undergraduate days lying in the corner. Going through the box, I was instantly taken back to some of my favorite classes, where new worlds opened up to me through books like the Manchild in the Promised Land by Claude Brown, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, and 20 Years at Hull-House by Jane Addams.

As I reread them, I was again amazed at how vividly some of these books outlined the class struggles of their day. They not only explore issues around poverty in American society, but also changed the face of the social service sector and the government’s response to the poor.

I realized that no one is telling stories like these today.
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Talking Storytelling in Emails

Talking Storytelling in Emails | Storytelling for Nonprofits | Scoop.it
Storytelling Q&A with Colin Holtz and Steve Daigneault

Steve and Colin got so many great questions on the (May 2011) call that they ran out of time before they could answer them - but they wrote them all down! Read on to see what they think about how long emails should be, common mistakes in story-based appeals, and the pros and cons of authentic but unpolished stories.
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Q&A with a Story Guru: Patrick Reinsborough Part 1: Injecting New Ideas into the Culture Through Story-Based Strategy

Q&A with a Story Guru: Patrick Reinsborough Part 1: Injecting New Ideas into the Culture Through Story-Based Strategy | Storytelling for Nonprofits | Scoop.it
I learned of Patrick Reinsborough when I learned of his organization smartMeme earlier this year and wrote about it. I’m intrigued by the organization’s work and Patrick’s book co-authored with his partner, Re:Imagining Change — How to Use Story-based Strategy to Win Campaigns, Build Movements, and Change the World. Patrick’s partner, Doyle Canning, also has been invited to participate in a Q&A. This Q&A will run over the next six days.
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