5 Questions to Ask to Weave Impact Into Your Storytelling

Welcome to the latest episode of The High-Five Nonprofit Marketing Ideas. I’m Julia McDowell, Marketing Strategist for Five Ones. The High-Five is my video series of marketing strategies and tactics for nonprofits and associations. By now, we know content is an incredibly important part of any marketing campaign. But, to take it one step further, the story you tell within the content can have a big impact, too.

Storytelling is important because it draws people in and gives them a reason to care. You can’t just slap a CTA onto something without explaining to people the story behind your ask. And for nonprofits and associations, weaving the impact that’s involved in your overall efforts—or a specific program—is key. Today, I’m posing 5 questions you should ask yourself the next time you’re writing the story behind something.

Who benefits from the program?

Now is the time to be specific about who you’re helping, what the benefit is, and the number of people involved. Describe them, explain their backgrounds, and dive into who they are.

What change are you measuring?

Get into the nitty gritty on what the change is. If you’re changing policy on homelessness in your area talk about the current situation, sentiment, what’s being done about it, and your plan for changing it.

When will the change occur?

Donors like to know when something will happen so they can keep track and see the impact of their funds. So, give them a specific timeline for when your efforts will start and end. Make sure to provide updates if it’s a longer-term program, and at the end.

Why are you affecting this change?

What’s your why? Why does your organization have this program? Why is this change important? It’s OK to get heartfelt here and describe your organization’s reasons for having the program. And, if you have a personal anecdote, now is the perfect time to add it in.

How will you measure the change?

Once the program is underway, how will you measure the success? This is different from your marketing metrics and can involve surveys as well as data. If you’re doing a survey, how will it be distributed? What questions will you ask? What data will be collected? How will you use it? Be as transparent as possible.

An example

Here’s a quick example that brings all of these questions together.

Your organization provides tutoring services to children whose first language is not English (the who). When they start classes, only 25% of them feel confident speaking in English (the change)  which impacts their ability to integrate at school, make friends, and learn other subjects (the why). After a year of tutoring (the when), more than 60% now feel confident speaking in English based on a survey and their competency tests (the how).

If you’re looking for a complete roadmap to writing more persuasively and passionately check out Fiveones.com/roadmap. And don’t be a stranger! Comment or email anytime about this or any of my other videos at julia@fiveones.com. Happy writing!