Storytelling is central to cultivating a culture of community between a nonprofit organization, the population(s) it serves, and the volunteers and donors needed to assist in its mission-driven work.
As a development director, storytelling is one of the most important tools I use to inspire donors and volunteers to support Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.
In fact, this tool is used affiliate-wide at PPHeartland. Mission Moments (MMs) are paragraph-long statements that aim to set an inspirational and mission-driven tone at the start of all internal and external meetings. These MMs cover an array of meaningful interactions with donors, volunteers, and patients.
Whether in a one-on-one donor conversation or event planning committee meeting, I always have a printed MM in my bag ready to go.
MMs can invoke a sense of ownership and influence in donors and volunteers, helping to demonstrate impact of their philanthropic work. This in turn can increase the likelihood of them making a monthly, annual, or even transformational gift.
So how does PPHeartland come up with these MMs? Well, Ann Handley in Everybody Writes describes a process nearly matches ours.
While Handley explains this process from the for-profit perspective, below are key questions that she raises with my insertion of nonprofit language:
Handley lists the following must-have characteristics for stories. Please note some overlap between these points:
Alicia Johnson | SproutSocial
SproutSocial’s Alicia Johnson maps a strategic guide to social media for nonprofits, providing the following tips below:
Laura Forer | MarketingProfs
The people have spoken. In MarketingProfs’ “2018 Digital Advertising Trends: Which Predictions Came True,” author Laura Forer outlines the year’s winners and losers in advertising tactics and methods based on a study conducted by programmatic advertising provider Choozle. The infographic (linked above) reports trends on the following topics:
Although this study is focused on standard advertising from a for-profit perspective, it should not be forgotten that nonprofit organizations, too, advertise and seek to better spread their message and mission online. My employer is currently exploring digital storytelling methods to better inform others about health center locations, legislative updates, and donation opportunities. Below are key takeaways I found to be most relevant to nonprofit organizations and their mission-driven audiences: