How can we use storytelling to effectively position our organization?

People remember stories. They engage, inspire and encourage people to act. For nonprofits, they can be used effectively in just about any method of communication.

All nonprofits have stories to tell about how their constituency was impacted through their work. But many organizations don’t fully recognize the power their stories have to help them connect with their audience. Storytelling is one of the most important devices in your communications toolkit. How better to illustrate your impact than to “show” your constituents a successful outcome?

How storytelling can benefit your messaging:

  • Stories “show” your reader rather than “telling” them. They help position you as an expert and build trust among your audience.
  • Stories are memorable and touch readers in a personal way.
  • Stories help you focus your message to avoid communicating too much unnecessary information.
  • Stories help you bring independent pieces of information together into a coherent message.

Think about using storytelling in annual reports, on your website, in newsletters, fundraising campaigns and direct mail. Keep stories short and relevant to your audience, and make them about a single person or group of people. And don’t forget to deliver an underlying message that ties back to your mission and goals.


“Storyless” narratives rely on dry data and program descriptions without ever bringing the content to life. The result is a lost audience. Instead … tell a great story!

The best stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. They establish heroes and villains, create conflict and use an emotional hook.

Source: Cause Communications Toolkit

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