Struggling to find stories? Here are 5 places to look

You know storytelling is important to your nonprofit but you’re busy. Spending time trying to think of story ideas isn’t high on your list when there are other mission-critical needs screaming at you right now. That’s okay – we’ve got your back! Here are five easy places to find stories.

1. Your nonprofit’s calendar. What events are coming up, both virtual and in-person? You can easily do a story on an event sponsor and why they want to support your nonprofit. Or you can do a story about the history of the event. Or even pick an event attendee and do a story on why they love attending/helping support you!

2.  Your audience of donors/volunteers/clients/board/staff. This is a treasure trove of stories and if you’re not using this group of people to help tell your story on a regular basis, start NOW. You can easily create a list of basic questions you can email out to donors/volunteers/staff, etc and have them send back responses. Then you can use those responses to write a story or even keep it as a simple Q&A format (saves you time and keeps it visually interesting for readers!).

3. Current issues/events and how your nonprofit plays a part.  What’s happening in the world and how is your nonprofit responding? Are you providing healthcare for families affected by COVID-19? Are you addressing racial relations? Think about the stories you can tell in response to the world around you.

4. Your stats/results/annual report. Those stats you compile every year? Those all tell a story. So pick one – “We helped 300 families find permanent housing” – and tell that story. Find one of those 300 families to profile and show those numbers are really people with needs. Donors love to see the direct impact they’re making when they give. 

5. Reviews/comments. These are often overlooked but can be a goldmine. You probably have Facebook or Google reviews or even comments people have left on social posts that brag on what you’re nonprofit is doing. Use those to help tell your story. You can make a quote graphic out of them using Canva. Or ask the person who left the comment if you can reach out to them for more info and use that to write a mini story.

Stories are all around you – no matter what your nonprofit does. Look for them on a daily basis, train your team/board/volunteers to look for them, and storytelling will soon become part of your nonprofit’s culture!

Need help telling your story well? Contact us at Telling nonprofit stories is our favorite thing to do!