Each year for the Nonprofit Technology Conference, over one hundred organizations sponsor the conference and participate in the Science Fair. It’s always overwhelming in the best of ways to see how many options for tools, services, and providers we have access to in this community and the Science Fair brings them together to share their work and opportunities with attendees. We are happy to share the following blog post from Alec Stern, Founding Team, Vice President of Strategic Market Development, at Constant Contact with you ahead of the conference. Be sure to connect with the Constant Contact team at the NTC!
Gone are the days that blaring TV ads and full-scale newspaper advertisements are the sole components of a marketing program. Now, every nonprofit needs to learn how to tell a compelling story that connects with their supporters in order to be able to engage with them effectively.
It’s the story that allows you to stand out in the crowd and how you can continue to thrive, despite a competitive environment that’s noisier than ever before.
Find your story
Every organization has a unique story. It’s your story that draws supporters to your organization, entices them to donate to the cause or volunteer, keeps them coming back, and encourages them to spread the word. Your job is to figure out how to tell that story most effectively.
Think about what makes supporters donate to your cause. What makes you special? What are your core values? What makes your recipients of your services happy? A good story can unite everyone in the organization under a common cause and give a single vision for success.
Tell your story
Once you’ve figured out the story behind your organization, it’s time to think about how to tell it. Sometimes the story can be amplified if it is told from the recipient of your services and how they have benefited from what you provide them. Storytelling comes in many forms— online, through email or social media marketing, at events, or in person. The key is consistency. You can’t have a colorful, carefree personality on Facebook and then send email newsletters that are written in a cold, robotic language. Consistency is one of your most powerful tools when you’re telling a story, because the more consistent you are, the further your message gets spread and the more your organization stands out.
Break through the noise
When supporters can easily understand your organization’s story, then it’s easier for them to become passionate about what you’re doing—especially when that story matches their interests and passion. In turn, the story helps build relationships and create loyalty.
With the internet in everyone’s hands these days, it’s more important than ever to be recognized and remembered. It’s also easier than ever to tell a story. Facebook, email marketing, and other online marketing tools make it possible to engage with your supporters, and encourage them to spread the word.
So, once you do discover the story behind your organization, all you have to do is figure what tools you should using to tell it and, more importantly, how to get it heard.