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4 storytelling tips to inspire and engage your nonprofit audience

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The reason storytelling is so effective at capturing people’s attention is simple. It’s human. In fact, our brains are hardwired to respond to stories. This means the story you share about your mission-driven work can motivate everyone—from your potential and existing donors to your staff and board members.  

However, in today’s online world, it’s easy to get lost in the digital noise. Think about it for a moment by putting yourself in a potential supporter’s shoes. In addition to navigating through your own website, this person is likely scrolling through many search results to find out more information about your organization. Moreover, an online search may take your prospective supporter to other platforms like YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, and, of course, Candid.  

This hypothetical scenario begs the question: How can you inspire and captivate audiences, regardless of where they discover your organization? At the core of this type of platform-agnostic engagement is a well-crafted story that informs, inspires, and catalyzes audiences to support your organization.  

If you are wondering how to create this type of powerful narrative for your nonprofit, consider using the following four tips from expert storyteller, Elizabeth (Liz) Ngonzi, CFRE, founder and CEO of Liz Ngonzi Transforms and The International Social Impact Institute

1. Tell stories to meaningfully engage and form genuine connections with your supporters.

2. Craft a compelling story by including these four key elements: a problem, solution, impact, and ask.   

3. Bring your story to life using different types of video content (e.g., live streams, professionally produced clips, and authentic moments captured on a mobile device.)

4. Use a digital strategy to showcase your mission-driven work, reach your target audience, and assess your stories’ impact.   

If you are inspired to discover how storytelling can help you attract and win over your audience’s support, be sure to check out this free, on-demand course, Digital Storytelling: How to Engage and Activate Your Supporters Online. Led by Liz Ngonzi, CFRE, this free training will not only explain how to use a simple storytelling framework to enhance the clarity of your organization’s digital communications.  

It will also equip you with the skills to: 

  •  Strategically enhance your nonprofit’s online visibility by utilizing templates, case studies, and best practices in communication. 
  •  Create a comprehensive digital strategy that sets your organization apart from the competition and inspires your audience with compelling content and storytelling. 
  • Identify the most effective social media platforms for encouraging supporters to amplify your message, donate to your campaigns, or even fundraise on your behalf. 

Liz Ngonzi, CFRE, emphasizes, “Nonprofits often have all the makings of a great narrative with unsung heroes, revelations, and transformation. This course provides the tools and framework to easily document those stories of inspiration.” 

Equip yourself with the skills to put the power of storytelling to work for your nonprofit. Visit our website to learn more and sign up for this free course today.  


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  • Danielle Hodgee says:

    May 7, 2023 12:19 pm

    Thank you for this information Elizabeth! I like how you mention that you don't need to send thousands of dollars to get your story across. An iPhone can do just the trick! Thanks for sharing these tips! : )