Sunday, April 20, 2008

When to Use Stories Instead Of Statistics

Kivi Leroux Miller posted recently about when to use stories rather than statistics to make your organization's case to potential donors, volunteers and supporters.

[photo credit: luiginter]

I've posted often about the value of storytelling in non-profit environments, and I'm pleased to see others making similar points. I've summarized Kivi's post (which is definitely worth reading in its entirety) below:
  1. What Do Other People Think About This Group?
    Answer with Testimonials.
    When someone is learning about you for the first time, they’ll be curious what other people think about your organization, your staff and your effectiveness.
  2. Are People Here Like Me?
    Answer with Profiles.
    When someone donates time or money to your organization, they are joining a virtual community of people who believe in the same cause.
  3. Does This Work?
    Answer with Success Stories.
    Do you get the job done? Are you going to make a difference with the money I give you? Success stories show donors (and potential new donors) exactly what it is you do and how you do it.
  4. What Difference Can a Single Person Make?
    Answer with Personalized Giving Options. Big problems are overwhelming. One way to overcome this problem is to focus on the difference that a single person can make and clearly demonstrate through storytelling that a new donor, as a single individual, can bring about change by supporting your organization.
  5. Can I Come Along?
    Answer with Personal Chronicles.
    For your supporters to fully engage with your nonprofit, you have to be willing to share what’s really going on.
Does your organization follow these simple guidelines when interacting with potential supporters? If not, it's worth making the effort to do so.

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