Your Story 5 Ways: How to Raise More Money With Less Work

Chances are, if you are working in the nonprofit sector, you have a busy job and are always looking to get more done in less time. Lucky for you, efficiency is a passion of mine!

This post will help you leverage good stories to raise more money. Specifically, you’ll see how elements of ONE good story can boost your efficiency AND fundraising results.

To be clear, fundraisers can write stories, about staff, volunteers, or donors; right now, I’m talking about client stories.

What is a good client story?

A good story is one that shows your organization’s impact and tugs at your donors’ and prospects’ heartstrings. A client story provides the unique opportunity to show through the eyes of a client, how your programs and services have improved his/her life.

To get started, read: 5 Must-Haves of a Successful Nonprofit Story and Nonprofit Storytelling: 5 Tips For Collecting Compelling Stories.

Once you have your good story, here are 5 ways to use it. Reusing your story, in other words repurposing your content, is an easy way to build efficiency.

1. Website

Your website is a great place to feature full-length client-focused stories including photos, quotes and lots of details.

As an example, Boulder County CareConnect, a small nonprofit organization in Boulder, Colorado, effectively showcases client stories on their website.

You will see that for each program the organization provides, there is a story showing how the program has helped an individual. And the stories feature client photographs and quotes to make them even more relatable.

2. Social media

Social media is ideal for abbreviated client stories – as little as a client photograph or a client quote will do the trick. Chances are your organization does not have a dedicated social media manager on staff. That makes repurposing your story content even more important.

From any of the stories published on Boulder County CareConnects website, a quote could be pulled and published as a Facebook post.

3. Newsletter

Whether you publish a printed or electronic newsletter, stories should play a prominent role – and you can repurpose a story from your website. Tom Ahern does a terrific job of showing how to use stories in donor-centered communications pieces.

4. Direct mail or email appeal

An appeal letter – when you are asking someone to support the work of your nonprofit – is arguably the most critical and impactful place to use a client story. Client photographs and quotes can inspire a deeper connection with your reader and boost your chance of receiving a donation.

5. Annual report

In your annual report you may again want to share just part of a story—perhaps separated from other content by a box or circle to draw attention to it. Here again, Boulder County CareConnect’s annual report does a good job of showing client photos that draw in the reader.

Taken together, featuring your one good story – either in whole or key elements from the story – in different communications vehicles will not only help build awareness for the good work of your organization, it will also build your brand and help you raise more money.

What tips or advice do you have about sharing stories about your nonprofit? Please share your ideas, successes or challenges in the Comments box below!

Special gift for you: Conquer Your Fear of Asking for Money, a step-by-step guide, is available here (click)