Can you imagine a world without stories? Stories influence people, their emotions, behaviors, and actions. Stories find their way to human hearts and heads in a way that very few (if any) other communication methods can.

Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today. — Robert McKee

Nonprofit storytelling refers to stories — often involving real people or situations — told by nonprofits to advance a particular cause.

Nonprofit storytelling can have a wide variety of forms, for example:

  • Short-form social media posts
  • Video ads on television or social media.
  • Marketing collateral
  • Case studies
  • Long-form stories and guides
  • Conferences and events
  • Annual reports and impact reports Awareness campaigns
  • Fundraising campaigns

Many nonprofits use digital channels to engage with its stakeholders. When we talk about Digital storytelling we refers to the interactive content publish to the web. Digital storytelling enables nonprofits to tell their stories across multiple media, potentially in multiple languages, and to reach unknown readers and viewers through the power of tagging and amplification.

The choice of digital channels through which to tell an organization’s story depends on the intended audience, on the channels with which members of that audience are known to engage, and on budgetary and resource constraints.  The selected channels make up part of what is called an organization’s Digital Storytelling Ecosystem.


Following you can find 10 tips for nonprofit storytelling:

  1. Tell stories about real people
  2. Use emotions because emotions evoke action.
  3. Use visual and immersive stories (visual storytelling): consider visual mediums such as videos, photography, infographics, and even cartoons or drawings to stand out in a sea of text.
  4. Repurpose your content if it works
  5. Use stories as part of a broader marketing strategy. Storytelling is a marketing tactic, not the only one included in a broader strategy.
  6. Context the stories with your organisation’s values and own story.
  7. Choose the messages, make sure you’re clear on the message you want to send.
  8. Report the impact. You can combine storytelling with donor impact reporting.
  9. Choose the places where you are going to share your content, according to your needs and your audience. For example: Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, Youtube, Whatsapp, Twitter, Vimeo, Linkedin, Pinterest, etc.
  10. Monitor and evaluate: Evaluate your efforts, and re-plan your marketing strategy accordingly. 

There are many examples of effective digital storytelling for nonprofits.

For instance, World Vision, a non-profit focused on children’s wellbeing around the world, provide great annual reports. In their report “Our Progress”, World Vision achieve a strong sense of brand identity.

Anyone can tell stories. To apply digital storytelling to your organization look at for your inspiration and choose the most adequate tools.


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