How do you craft more engaging resources for communicating your mission and vision? One way is to add to your website a mission stories page. This page will house the mission- related stories and pictures that you collect. These stories can be long or short. The idea is to get your stories into one place so you can share with the world. One advantage is that you will always have a story to share in email and social media with a simple click of a link.

Getting the stories

Getting stories is often the hardest part of the job. Many times the privacy of the client prohibits names and pictures to be used. One workaround is to change the name and leave out specific identifiers like city, age, or ethnicity. If it’s a child, have them draw a picture related to the story or use a stock image. Make sure you let the reader know that the name has been changed to protect their privacy.

Just do it

As Nike said years ago, just do it. The number one excuse is “but there aren’t any stories”.  That’s only because you haven’t really looked. I promise, someone has a story. You may have to dig and ask – a lot. But they are there. It may take thinking outside the box. Instead of clients, what about board members? Why do they serve? And volunteers? Why did they volunteer? Do they have a client story that affected them? Donors? Why do they give?

Organizing your stories

Organize the stories according to your mission statement. These stories are examples of different parts of your mission. They will illustrate your impact on the lives that your nonprofit touches. Each category on your website will mirror your mission statement. As an example, I’ve said it before my favorite mission statement is from the Methodist Home it states “ In response to Christ and the church, the mission of the Methodist Home for Children and Youth is to be a model agency that restores childhoods, strengthens families and cultivates at people building organization”.

The last part of the mission statement gives us our categories
  • restoring childhoods
  • strengthening families
  • people building organization

Every story should fit into one or more of these categories.

How do I use the stories? These stories can be linked to any mail messages, direct mail, and social media. When writing your emails or direct mailings, use the stories on your story page and give a summary. Put a Read More button in your email to direct them to the full story. Give the link to read the full story in direct mail. When you are using the 4-1-1 strategy on social media, the stories will give you the original post for every six posts.

How many stories should I have before I set up the page?

I would start with three stories. This will give you your minimum of three stories needed for your email campaigns for the year. Make sure you save one of the best ones for your year-end campaign.

Add these as they come up throughout the year to keep a steady stream of content for your fundraising.

Once you get a good number of stories, you may want to take some off the website. I suggest using something like OneNote to put and organize stories in an archive.

To help, download the story planner that will give you the key information needed to write the story.   https://www.google.com/url?q=https://mathisnps.lpages.co/story-planner/&sa=D&ust=1565749958329000&usg=AFQjCNH2sp5qVh021pgrM-zydSxB7RwGbQ

 

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Keywords: nonprofit storytelling website

 

 

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