A lil’ guide to help your stories take flight

For any organization, the extent to which its story is effective can be gauged by how often it is told. That means you won’t always be the one doing the telling. If you were the only one telling your organizational story, you’d be completely exhausted! You want a story that is so memorable and repeatable that people adopt it as their own.

Donors, board members, employees and volunteers each have their own reasons why they care about the work of your organization. When they tell their individual stories (also known as their WHYs) as part of the larger organizational story, it’s kind of like Red Bull but without that jittery feeling—the stories take flight.

Chris Davenport recently published a little gem of a book that is quickly becoming the wind beneath the wings of many a nonprofit story (forgive me, couldn’t resist the Bette Midler reference, what with this year’s musical-filled Oscars still on my mind…). This pocket-size guide, called Nonprofit Storytelling for Board Members, is, as the title implies, definitely great for board members. But don’t let the title lead your astray: the tips it offers are great for all of your people. It teaches:

•three types of stories they need to tell

•the four building blocks of a powerful story

•seven story triggers to keep their listener captivated by the story

•three phrases to engage anybody

•how to structure a story for maximum effectiveness

•how to find great stories

•what types of details to include in their stories

Awesome, right? Get out there and help your stakeholders turn the altruistic goodness in their heads and hearts into messages that inspire others!


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