I recently read “Data’s role in your Nonprofit’s Storytelling Strategy”, an article by Josh Mail, Chief Marketing Officer at Relationship Science LLC (RelSci), which was published in the Guidestar blog.
Think of all the times, you describe what your organization does, and what you do for it.
- Elevator Speech
- Mission Statements
- Financial Results
Each of those is a story about what you are focusing on within your organization. Now, consider the following, without data each of the stories is your opinion. The facts bring the stories to life and in the eyes and ears of the recipient move the stories from a point of view to facts. The stories are now real, measurable, and make more sense to the recipient.
Facts are made up of data. Consider:
“We help women to further their education”,
“Last year alone, we helped 300 women further their education through 20 scholarships, 100 mentoring sessions, and free career counselling with 175 women.”
Your stories need to be aimed at a specific audience. Here is a way to organize your focus toward the recipients of your stories. First you need to decide who your audience is.
We believe that your organizational strategy, your processes with which you run your organization, and your people need to be focused on three audiences. These are made up of:
- The past, current and future recipients of your services
- Past, current and future financial supporters of your services.
- Organizations and people to whom your report, such as your Board and the IRS.
Once you have decided on your audience, you then need to assemble facts about your subject and the faces who have been affected by the actions of your organization.
Why does it matter? You are competing for recipients and dollars. The stories you tell prove how well you spend your human capital and your dollars. To an individual or organization deciding on their charitable budget, your stories differentiate you from your competition, and provide professional facts that will be appreciated by the recipients of your stories.
Continue reading on Guidestar, where Josh Mail answers the question: “So, how do nonprofits begin the task of uniting left- and right-brain sensibilities in their marketing communications?”