Tell stories, don’t talk about accomplishments. You’ve heard that before, right? Stories really do work, when done right. I believe you if you tell me that you’ve done stories and they haven’t worked though. I really, really do.
Here are some reasons why you may be frustrated with your storytelling:
Maybe your call-to-action—what you were asking your donors to do—wasn’t attractive or compelling enough
Maybe the story itself wasn’t impactful enough
Maybe your story wasn’t written right
Or maybe you’re not lighting up the brain of the reader!
Non-profit storytelling is, after all, not just words on paper. There are researchers who have actually looked into people’s brains when they read different stories. They’ve been able to measure which parts of the brain actually “lit up” when readers thought about intent and goal-directed action, as opposed to meaningless motion. Neurons in the brain flashed when characters grasped things, and neurons involving eye movement activated when characters were active.
So what’s the big deal? Well, brains lighting up mean involvement. That’s what your readers should feel. Involved.
Do your stories have the following:
Main character and the problem
Action leading towards a goal
People being active
How the donor can help
These are all elements that should be a part of your story. They are easy to overlook. Thus the reason for this blog.
Need help with your storytelling writing? Let us help you.