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How Your Nonprofit Story Can Transform Apathy Into Advocacy

If you’ve scrolled through Facebook lately, you’ve likely seen that a lot of our good friends have become amateur philanthropists. Facebook’s new fundraising feature, a huge improvement on their “causes” product, has created a flurry of nonprofit stories entering our lives.

And though the new platform still has infrastructure issues, you can’t help but feel optimistic at how Facebook has made it so easy to give. But with this ease comes proliferation. Facebook fundraising has the potential to be a powerful tool for nonprofits, but how do we sift through the noise?

Our digital lives have become so cluttered through the explosion of “always on” culture—always on mobile devices and always on social media. These crowdfunding tools, amplified by social media’s ability to distribute information, have only made it more and more difficult for nonprofits to get noticed amidst the noise.

On average, your brand story has to get its message across in a way that’s clear, compelling, actionable and aligned in about 6 seconds. So how do you get through the clutter to tell your story?

Here are five tips for creating an effective nonprofit brand story that will give people a reason to care, a reason to give and ultimately a reason to advocate on your behalf.

Keep it Simple

You only have 6 seconds, remember? So you need to grab the viewer’s attention as quickly as possible with a simple and clear brand story that spells out your mission. If you can convince them to stay to listen, there’s a greater chance they’ll want to learn more and join in your story. So make your story simple and easily digestible.

Make it Personal

People are more likely to engage with your nonprofit if you frame the interaction around real stories from real people. If your nonprofit is making a difference in people’s lives, capture those stories and find ways to talk about what you do within the context of their personal journeys.

Portrait of an old man laughing

Appeal to Emotion

Your Story needs to inspire the viewer to identify with your cause and motivate them to engage with your organization. To do that, you need to create powerful stories that engage with their emotions. The goal is not to manipulate the consumer or persuade them into thinking a certain way; it’s to make them feel something.

Rachel Bilson says "Feelings. So many feelings right now."

Make it Memorable

Make that connection. Make the user engage, remember you, and want to share your story. People can more readily relate to a story than fact-laden statements, so aim to make the message a memorable one. Remember that memorable doesn’t necessarily mean perfect. Find what’s unique about your organization and let that influence your brand story.

young woman smiling and blinking at camera

Have a Clear, Aligned Objective

With such a small timeframe to make an impression, your words have to work really hard. There’s no room for confusion, so clarity of language and objectives is key. What is the most important thing to convey to your potential donors?  Make sure your story is aligned with this objective.

Make it Actionable

Six seconds. That’s all the time you have to get someone to care. And if the customer actually listens, what do they do next? It’s important to provide a call-to-action so the consumer doesn’t have to search in order to act. Make it something they want to do and can do as easily as possible.

You have a 6-second window to make a connection with prospective donors, volunteers and program participants. Just 6 seconds to give people a reason to care, listen, engage and give. We know it’s difficult to achieve all of that, especially in such a small window of time, but with a simple, clear and aligned brand story, your nonprofit can break through the noise.

Today you have the opportunity to create a compelling 6-second story that speaks to your key audience. Learn how to inspire collaboration and alignment in your nonprofit by downloading our latest whitepaper: Striking the Right Balance Between Nonprofit Marketing and Fundraising Teams.

Click Here to Access the Guide for Nonprofit Leaders

Follow @TopRightPartner on Twitter and connect with Dave on LinkedIn.

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