You don’t have an amazing story to tell? Here’s why

Amazing stories move donors to action.

But almost every day I hear from nonprofits who tell me, “We don’t have any amazing stories to tell!”

Not true.

Not even close to true.

If you don’t have any stories worth telling, it’s most likely one or both of these attitudes in your own mind:

  1. You think life-and-death drama is the only drama that matters. Not every nonprofit is in the business of saving lives. In fact, most are not! That doesn’t make your work unimportant, and it doesn’t make your stories boring. Your donors care about what you do. Find the stories about that. There’s drama in those things.
  2. You are focused on process, not outcome. This is the more common barrier to amazing stories. If you’re trying to tell stories about how your programs function, you’ll stay stuck in Boringville. But if you make stories about the thing that needs to happen … you’ll find a lot more drama to share with your donors.

Believe in what your organization does, and find stories that show what happens when donors give.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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