Storytelling is a great way to build a connection with your audience and create brand trust and awareness. Everyone has a story, so tell it! Nonprofits have a step up to businesses because they’re not trying to sell a product, and they are generally tied to humans emotionally. 

If you missed the webinar on storytelling for nonprofits, look no further. Here are all the questions we answered! 

How do we use stories when there are confidentiality restrictions?

This is a balancing act with small communities because it can be easy to recognize certain families, people, or stories. Some ideas to get around this are:

  • Ask for permission (in writing if possible)- Sometimes it’s as simple as just asking! It’s usually best to ask for permission in writing, just in case.
  • Blend stories together- You could use parts of stories and blend them together so people won’t recognize them.
  • Create “fake” characters- Use different names and change up some details. This will get your message across and give the audience that connection.

What kind of stories are good for nonprofits?

Check out some other brands or nonprofits for inspiration! There are lots of ways to tell a story. Here are some of our favourite examples:

SPCA- They use a combination of imagery and messaging, and their CTA is always very clear. 

Airbnb- Pictures are worth 1000 words, and they demonstrate this and pull in their audience with just imagery.

Humans of New York- HONY uses videos and imagery, and text. Their stories are always engaging, relatable with a lot of range. Stories need to capture attention right away to keep people listening.

What should I use to make videos or interactive pieces at an affordable cost?

Here are some of our favourite tools: 

  • Lumen5- online video maker
  • Animoto- online video maker
  • Prezi- presentations
  • Doodle- animated videos

Nonprofits aren’t always wanting to invest with imagery, but that’s important. For nonprofits, imagery is needed so people can picture themselves there. 

Where should I get stock photos at an affordable cost?

  • Canva Pro- the free version has stock images too, but the paid version has more.
  • Unsplashed
  • Pixabay 

What are the best tips to writing a story?

  • Catch your audience’s attention quickly- Grab their attention within the first couple sentences.
  • Write content for social as if you’d only post on Twitter- Short, simple, and to the point!
  • Elaborate where you can- Elaborate on other platforms where you can, but shorter is best.
  • Put the full story on the blog- You can drive traffic to your website and include photos and videos to tell the whole story. Get people here through your social. Use Linktree to have a pop up of different options when someone clicks the link in your bio, that way you don’t have to constantly change the link to the blog with the social post. 

Call to Action (CTA)- what is it and how does it look?

The call to action is what you want your audience to do as a result of reading the story. Our best tips for this are to make it easy, and just use one CTA per post so you don’t cause confusion. 

CTA Ideas 

  • Donate now
  • Volunteer
  • Help us spread the word by <blank> (sharing this post, tagging a friend, etc.)

How do I recycle and reuse my content?

There are lots of ways to do this! You can share everything on different platforms, and share it again in a month. People are forgetful. You can change the copy and image, or just leave it as is. On our content planning spreadsheet, we have a tab for blog posts where we store all our blogs and links. We can go back to this and share something old if we don’t have time to create something new right then. 

Nonprofits don’t usually have marketers or social media experts, how can they make an easy system for this?

  • Content spreadsheet- Plan, plan, plan.
  • Instead of doing it yourself, you can always find students, freelancers, people looking for experience, Fiverr, or Upwork to do it for you. 
  • Document your system if you are doing it yourself- If you’re going to hand it off you don’t have to retrain over and over. 
  • Plan your campaigns first, then create stories for each one.

What makes a good story?

First, understand who the audience is, then think of why you need to tell the story. What does the reader need to know or understand? Make sure your story has a beginning, middle, and end, the end usually is the CTA. 

What percentage of a nonprofits marketing budget should go to social media marketing vs. conventional marketing?

This depends completely on the nonprofit and the demographic. We would suggest that if the demographic is 18-40 year olds, at least half of your marketing budget should go to social. Again, this really depends on the nonprofit and the demographic. 

Should I put the time and effort into blogging?

We say YES if you have the time for it. Blogging will push people to your website and give you a space to expand on the stories. 

And that’s it! If you want to watch the full webinar, check it out below. Let us know if there are any more questions to answer.