I was astonished to see how succinctly storytelling expert Andy Goodman summed up the must-dos in his NTEN Webinar, covered here by Fundraising Success. He's a consummate storyteller himself, but few folks can share their wisdom in such a clear way.
Here are Andy's musts for a well-told story:
Five Key Structural Elements
- Protagonist. The person who we follow through the story.
- Inciting incident. Something that happens that kicks the story into action.
- Barrier. Something that stands in the protagonist's way. According to Goodman, this is what makes stories interesting and is absolutely critical.
- Resolution. When the hero gets around the last barrier.
Six Must-Have Qualities
1. Concise, but colorful.
2. Told in the language of the audience.
3. Not predictable.
4. Emotionally engaging.
5. Includes a moment of truth.
6. Shows, rather than telling.
Read the complete article for more detail and a few case studies! You'll never look back, especially after you see how (as Andy advises will happen) your base remembers much more about your org's work conveyed in a story, versus just telling them about it.
P.S. A high-impact tagline for your org is another vital marketing strategy. Download the free Nonprofit Tagline Report for must-dos, don't dos, case studies and 1,000+ nonprofit tagline examples!