guide to nonprofit storytelling

This post is part of a series on limiting beliefs. Read the previous posts on believing that your story doesn’t matter, thinking that success is selfish, being in a victim mindset, and living in fear.

One of the biggest things that holds people back is the thought that they don’t have enough time—to take the next step, make that phone call, complete that project, etc. Often it can feel like life is too overwhelming and there simply isn’t enough time to add one more thing to your to-do list. 

However, my first response to this is: If not now, when? 

Tomorrow isn’t promised. In order to start taking advantage of your time and thinking about how much you can get done, I want you to get really clear two things: the difference you’re hoping to make and the steps you need to accomplish that goal. 

Once you figure out those things, I want you to think about your story. Writing out and sharing your story will help you make the impact you’re hoping to have.

Why you shouldn’t put off telling your story

I’m wildly passionate about encouraging others to share their stories because I believe it’s through these narratives, insights, and perspectives that we’re able to create connections and the impact that makes a true difference. Telling our stories and leaving our legacies is one of the most important things we could ever do. 

When it comes to moving the needle on your nonprofit’s mission, in your development, and in your career, your story is a vehicle that can help you create that impact you want. Even if it’s as simple as writing a journal five minutes a day to preserve thoughts and memories, you should be documenting your memories and experiences. 

From a social impact standpoint, the amazing thing about storytelling is that once you’ve identified and crafted a few core stories, they start to do the work for you. Doing this work now will save you effort and time in the long run because the messages will stick longer with your audience and compel action faster than long-winded drip campaigns and fact-based sales ploys or campaigns. 

So when you start to worry that you don’t have time to work on your story or your goals, just remind yourself that taking time now will save you time in the future.

Now that you know how important it is to take the time to tell your story, I want you to identify time in your week where you can write down your stories and the ones you think will have the greatest impact on your life and work. Then, start sharing them! 

Nonprofit Sustainability

Madison Gonzalez

Madison Gonzalez

Advancement Director at Morning Light, Inc.
Madison Gonzalez is a National Public Speaker, Storyteller of the Year Award-Winner, Best-Selling Author of Dear Mirror, Events Manager, and Published Poet. She is also the Advancement Director at Morning Light, Inc., and Indianapolis-based nonprofit that fosters community programs in Indiana for the terminally ill, seniors, families and the home-bound. As a storytelling coach and consultant, it is her mission to empower others to share their stories for impact and income. Madison can be reached at madison@toldcoaching.com.