With #GivingTuesday 2017 officially less than two months away, your nonprofit has (hopefully) already started planning out your communications plan for this year’s giving day. But, what is the secret to nonprofit storytelling for #GivingTuesday?

nonprofit storytelling for giving tuesday

Rebecca Goodhart, Deputy Director at Homeward Trails Animal Rescue, shared her tips for nonprofit storytelling for #GivingTuesday on a recent webinar with Mightycause. In 2016, Homeward Trails raised $31,000 during #GivingTuesday on Mightycause. With limited resources and a staff of only four full-time employees, Goodhart’s tips are applicable for nonprofits of any size:

Share real stories for effective storytelling

This may seem like a no-brainer, but Goodhart recommends sharing stories that are tangible for your audience. At Homeward Trails, they share true stories about animals in their shelter to help convey the real need for funding to help these animals find their forever home.

Having trouble relating your story without being too wordy? Consider the “Story of Self, the Story of Us, the Story of Now” format from Marshall Gantz. Start with a story about a specific person or animal, then mention how it affects others, and why it’s important to tackle right now.

nonprofit storytelling for #GivingTuesday

Align your ask with your story

Know your donors! Goodhart knew that a $10 ask would be more effective with the story she was telling about a specific pet ($10 can help provide life-saving surgery) as opposed to asking for larger gifts that weren’t realistic for their donors to provide. Instead of wasting calories on unrealistic asks, focus on what your typical donor gives or is able to give. Then, weave it into your story to make it more effective.

Enlist your partners to help share your story

Nonprofit storytelling for #GivingTuesday isn’t just about the crafting a great story – it’s also about sharing it! Goodhart recommends that nonprofits with limited staff reach out to their partners and volunteers to ask for help spreading the word. Ask them to post about it on their social media, send out an email or add a link to their website. This is a small lift on their part that shows their support for your organization and can be very effective in bringing in new gifts for your nonprofit.

Use social media for nonprofit storytelling for #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday is an online giving event, meaning most of your donors are online and on social media! Don’t miss the opportunity to share your fundraising with social media followers. Goodhart said one key to Homeward Trails’ success was its large audience on Facebook, which they engage throughout the year in various ways. Their followers knew to expect posts for #GivingTuesday, so the post aligned with other asks they’ve done on social media.

nonprofit storytelling for #givingtuesday

Register for #GivingTuesday

Haven’t yet registered for #GivingTuesday? There’s still time! This year, Mightycause is going fee-free for #GivingTuesday – it’s free to register and free to use Mightycause for your #GivingTuesday fundraiser! Donors will be asked to cover the fees, but if they don’t Mightycause will cover them for your nonprofit. Join the 3,000 other nonprofits that raised funds on Mightycause’s #GivingTuesday last year by registering now.

And, be sure to check out our nonprofit toolkit for more information on how to use social media for #GivingTuesday and more!


Related articles:

#GivingTuesday Social Media Guide


Storytelling for nonprofits

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