What is something that every nonprofit shares? People. People came up with your idea, founded your organization, and keep your nonprofit running and growing! This probably seems obvious, and you may be wondering why it even warrants a discussion. Well, thinking about the people behind your mission is important when trying to tell your story.
What not every nonprofit shares are the unique roles your people fill. Only some organizations get to tell their story from the point of view of an orchestra conductor, a priest or a surgeon. Capitalizing on these perspectives are a great way to showcase your mission through exciting and real lenses, and to peak potential donors' interest.
Not sure how to do that or who should tell your story? Here are 21 ideas of who your best storytellers may be, and how they can use their lens to attract potential donors.
Have your teachers responsible for arts and health based courses and extracurricular groups tell your story. Their programs are usually the first to go when funding gets cut, but they know how beneficial their work is and can share the immediate and future impact donations can have on students’ lives!
School is at the centre of students’ lives, so even if they don’t love it all the time, countless memories and proud moments are tied to your institution. Capture them sharing what their teachers help them with, what they get to do with their friends because of school, and what classes make them feel smart, donors will see why their contribution will matter in no time!
Guidance counsellors are often the primary support students use when they experience challenges. They can speak to the importance of their role and other school resources students use in situations such as bullying, problems at home, first failures, and much more.
Curators are able to provide sneak peeks of your upcoming exhibits and other behind the scenes excitement! They can also share the challenges that can come up when creating an exhibit without proper resources, and compel donors to invest in and visit your organization!
Your conductor is the most important source of guidance at a concert, and as such, they have experienced many exciting and challenging moments. Have your conductor share memorable stories as well as insights about what it takes to prepare one score (much less a whole performance) to convey the need for funds to keep the music coming!
Your people in the lighting and sound booth know more than anyone how much it costs to put on a production of the quality your audiences know and love. Share clips of their behind the scenes work and equipment while detailing the contributions that could greatly improve your productions and provide necessary technical updates!
Creators are at the core of your organization, and depending on your core purpose, there are many different types of artists who use their creativity for your mission. Capture them talking about their work, showing sample pieces, sharing what goes into their art and communicating the heart and value of your organization.
The people who love your organization and attend events are great people to tell your story because they were new supporters once too. Capture interviews with attendees before and after an event asking questions about their experience, then, explain what resources you need to continue putting on events of the same quality and you’ll be raising funds in no time!
Telling a story is inherent to the role of a tour guide. Your guides know exactly which exhibits and facts interest and excite the general public, so sharing their wisdom can easily entice new supporters to go and learn more about you!
Ask your general members to share their best memories tied to your faith community. From the services you provide on a daily basis, the sense of belonging and belief, and the celebrations of milestones in people’s lives, there is so much good to share from your organization, and who better to share it than the people at the heart of the experience.
The members who volunteer for your community do so because they believe in both the religious and community component of your mission. Having them share why they go the extra mile for your community and why you need more contributions—including funds—to make your mission possible is a great way to show why a little support goes a long way.
Your faith community likely has someone in charge of teaching your younger members all about your mission. Those teachers are some of the best people to tell your story because they know how to share it in easily understood and engaging methods for their peer group, and they probably have some really sweet stories of the kids in your community too!
Board members help to keep your operation running smoothly, and can increase donors’ confidence in investing by sharing how your organization is being managed with the future in mind. Also have them share their personal stories: why they sit on your board, why it’s important to them, and what they do to translate their passion for your mission into action!
Volunteers are some of the best people to tell your story given their deep passion for your mission. They can show others what it’s like to give time rather than money to a cause, which can compel viewers to donate time themselves, OR if they don’t have time, to donate funds.
Show off your people on the ground! They can share videos of your funds in operation: servicing donees, delivering supplies, and themselves talking about the challenges and highlights of working in the field for your mission. Potential donors love to see the impact a donation can have, and your field workers can show just that.
Donor interviews can incite a snowball effect in donations. Sharing their satisfaction in: being thanked, feeling important to the cause, and knowing the benefits of their donation will show potential donors why donating to your cause is fulfilling and valuable. It can also help current donors feel more connected to your cause, which may incentivize them to continue donating!
Your practitioners are very knowledgeable about the resources your organization currently has and what they need to provide better care. Capture them talking about both their successes and the dangers of not receiving the funding your institution requires. They can communicate the reality of the situation and the importance of donating now.
There are many creative ways to share patient videos in an effort to increase donations. Patients that opt in can be captured sharing personal stories of what your institution means to them and their family.
Professors don’t only teach large lectures: they host small seminars, conduct research, are course coordinators and chairs of departments too! Interviewing professors in every role and program demonstrates why their work and contributing to the resources that help them keep courses updated and relevant is necessary.
Students involved in student government have an active voice in many of your school’s large projects. Using your student leaders that are both connected to the opinions of the general population of students regarding what areas need attention and are knowledgeable about feasibility strike a good balance when sharing videos with your alumni about what a donation could actually do for students!
Capture current students from each faculty sharing what makes your institution special and send them to alumni of that faculty. Personal stories work best and you'll see alumni engagement and giving skyrocket.
Your organization is full of interesting and passionate people, and any of them can tell your story through their unique perspective. So go on and capture it all!