Nonprofit Success Stories

So you’ve done the hard work of obtaining a quality mission-story for your organization. You’ve identified the “character” or person you serve, the struggle they’ve faced, the goals they want to achieve, and how your organization helped create change for them. You’ve shared your nonprofit success stories and gotten a great response. Now what? 

Re-purpose Your Content

Want to know one of the fastest ways to leverage impact? Re-purpose, re-purpose, re-purpose your nonprofit success stories. Don’t create extra work for yourself. Instead, find new angles or faces to bring into the story and tell it again. You can repackage your most popular nonprofit success stories several times before your audience will tire of them. Even if you feel like you’ve told the same story one-million times, there will still be tons of people who have never heard it. Statistically, most of your audience isn’t seeing your Facebook posts or opening your emails. Tweak the messaging and share it again later to reach more people.

Remember, each platform is a little bit different. The way you share your story in an Instagram post will be different from the way you share your story on a stage or in an email. While it is important to spend most of your time targeting the platforms your ideal customer lives on, it is also easy to simply tweak the story and put it on other platforms to cast a wider net. Even if your target audience isn’t spending a lot of time on a particular platform, someone who may be closely connected to your audience might be there. 

Bottom Line: Re-purposing content will save you time and is an easy way to reach a wider audience.

Serve Don’t Sell

DON’T JUST ASK THE MEDIA WHAT IT CAN DO FOR YOUR, ASK YOURSELF WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR THE MEDIA. 

Or something like that. The media is constantly being propositioned with stories and ideas, however, if you can hand them your story in a pretty package complete with headlines, angles, and ideas, you are actually saving them work and you will stand out.

One of the best pieces of business advice I heard and want to share with you is to serve don’t sell. We all want our businesses or organizations or personal brands to get fast attention because we know we have something great to give, but if you don’t communicate that in a way that sounds like serving and not begging, your proposal will fall flat. Tell your audience, or the media, what value you can bring them. Be very clear. What problem can you solve and what awareness can you raise? Those of you in the nonprofit world know that rule number one in donor communications is to make the donor the hero. Don’t tell them all the great ways you’re solving the problems of the world, show them how — with your help — they will be solving the problems of the world. It is your job to educate and connect the donor to a problem and then help them be the hero of the story by contributing, volunteering, advocating for your organization, etc. You have to guide them on their path; you are the teacher but they are the star

Make Media the Star

This goes for media as well. Make them the hero. Guide them to the story, give it to them on a shiny silver platter, and let them know how much you appreciate the platform they have worked so hard to grow. Explain to them how their coverage will create tangible impact. Start your proposal with a compliment and the offer. Then hit them with a drool-worthy angle. 

The media knows their audience is going to want an interesting, exciting story. What parts of your story are the most jaw-dropping? Lead with those. The twists, trials and triumphs, or irresistibly relative nonprofit success stories are going to get the best results. Don’t talk about the year the organization started, who’s on the Board of Directors, and how many staff members you have unless you started the company two months ago and scaled it to seven figures, you have Beyoncé as your Board Chair, or you are a one-man-band operating a multi-million dollar organization. Obviously, I’m exaggerating but leave the nitty-gritty details out and hit them in the gut with the stuff that makes people spit out their morning coffee and rewind the DVR – is DVR still a thing?

For the media to want to cover a story they know it needs to appeal to their audience. Take the time to identify what media channels (television, newspaper, magazines, radio, etc) your perfect audience is consuming and then pitch to those media outlets. This will save you a lot of time and get you better results.  

Happy Storytelling, friends!

Are you ready to give your donors the content they deserve? Here’s a Donor-Centered Content Marketing worksheet you can use as a template to enhance your donor communication efforts.

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.