Webinar: When Your Clients Tell the Story of Your Impact

This is the second of a two-part series, Storytelling and the Individual Donor.  Check out part one: Nurturing Your Small Dollar Donor

In today’s world of the brief, compelling narrative, in the time of social media and sharing, we have the opportunity not only to shift our messaging into tweet-sized sound-bytes, but also to change our voice over to that of our program participant. When we shift our appeals to first-person brief narratives on the part of those helped and served by our programs and services, we start giving donors what we’ve learned they want – personal engagement with the story of our work and our impact.

For years we’ve relied on the case study, the example client, the photo and quote or even the photo of someone holding a cardboard placard to connect our work with the hearts of those we hope will give. Today, we have better tools and can start to use video, first-person narrative, and stories that people can browse, deciding for themselves how they’d like to help. In short, we can be quiet and let our clients represent themselves and the organizations that help them thrive. It’s a changed paradigm and we need to keep up.

In this session, participants will:

  • Learn about various current approaches to using client storytelling in development and marketing
  • Explore the ethical and tactical challenges to putting the client in front of the camera and keyboard
  • Examine the Benevolent.net approach to storytelling narrative in the social service and workforce development sector and the successes and challenges in the initial year
  • Consider breaking the rules of donor engagement and bringing storytelling to the fore in one or more ways in service to the mission of their organizations


About the Presenter

A seasoned nonprofit leader with more than 20 years of strategic management, community partnership building, and organizational planning experience, Megan Kashner woke up on February 13, 2011, with the idea for Benevolent (www.benevolent.net). She previously served as an executive director for the Taproot Foundation and the Infant Welfare Society of Evanston, chief development officer for Chicago’s Deborah’s Place and program director for organizations including the Howard Area Community Center and the Heartland Alliance. A frequent panelist at conferences, Kashner most recently presented at the White House Forum on Philanthropy Innovation and at the Council on Foundations Family Philanthropy Conference.