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Storytelling the Right Way

Presented at the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference, Seattle, November 7, 2014
by

Jeff Brooks

on 24 February 2016

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Transcript of Storytelling the Right Way

Story
Offer
What brings in your fundraising dollars
Audience
Offer
Creative
The people you're talking to
Determined by medium, list selection, & statistical modeling
Design
Images
Copy (including stories)
40%
40%
20%
The specific action you're asking donors to take
Call to action
Cost
Concrete
Cost
Impact
Dollars = action/items
Right size for donor
Donation does a lot
Leverage
A specific action
Not an abstraction
"Visible"
Concrete
Impact
Concrete
Cost
Impact
Concrete
Cost
Impact
Organization
as
Hero
Donor
as
Hero
No "you"
Fact/number heavy
Bullet points
Jargon
Colloquial
Lots of "you"
Leads to a CTA
"Why I'm writing"
I'm well off. Honestly, my wealth makes me uncomfortable sometimes. That's why I give.
I survived cancer. I want to celebrate and to pay it forward. That's why I give.
My sister thinks she's so much better than me. Ha! I'm doing more than she is. That's why I give.
My heart overflows with love for the Virgin Mary. I know she cares. That's why I give.
We need to share our story...
The Boss's wife loves it!
The Phrase of Doom
What the donor does
Your
story
is the
wrong
story

The donor's
story

Why
donors
give

Donors give because of
who they are
, not because of who you are.
They give because
they
are awesome, not because you are.
(But please continue to be awesome.)
Organization as Hero
Donor as Hero
The 5 magic bricks for building donor stories
Say "you" a lot
Put the donor
in the story
Keep your heart
on your sleeve
Write like Aunt Ruth
Avoid numbers
(I mean a frickin' lot)
Concrete
Cost
Impact
"Support our cause"
"Engender hope"
"Join us"
Big numbers
Millions of Brazilians!
Story-Wrecker #1
No context
It was a dark and stormy night...
Story-Wrecker #2
Wrong image
Story-Wrecker #3
Children suffering!
2
Heroes
Your story
I help you tell!
Full transcript