I’m a sucker for stark contrast. It’s one of the best learning tools ever, and today I’m drawing on examples from Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP).
MMP supports and strengthens mentoring programs in Massachusetts and faces this marketing challenge common to every organization that doesn’t provide direct services:
- How to show the org’s unique value to current and prospective:
- Mentoring program partners—call to action (CTA) “strengthen your programor”
- Funders—CTA “get involved”
- Mentors—CTA “be a mentor”
- But differentiate MMP from what mentoring programs do
- And demonstrate how MMP helps strengthen programs and, in turn, how that growth benefits the children served by MMP partner programs.
This is a classic connect-the-dots challenge, and you’ll see in a moment how story trumps description in achieving all three goals.
MMP’s Original Approach—Purely Descriptive
Here’s how MMP was conveying its impact (and the need for its work) to prospective and current funders, mentoring programs and mentors (full-size image for easy reading here):
It’s no surprise that this approach wasn’t motivating target audiences to care or act.
The Solution: 5-Star Storytelling That Is Meaningful, Memorable & Motivational
How does this approach—focusing on Christina, the mentee, and backing up to connect the dots to United Way and then MMP—strike you?
Talk about compelling. This story strikes me hard and makes me want to 1) know more and 2) do what I can to generate more success stories like this. Same for you? Thumbs up for this 5-star people story MMP. You’ve done a great job of connecting the dots.
If you take away just one thing from this post, make it this—You want your listener to take action because they want to—not because they’ve been told to.
Part 1: This is Getting in Your Way, Stories Will Help
Part 2: Six Story Types to Tell
Part 3: How to Tell Your Founding Story
Part 4: How to Tell Your Focus Story
Part 5: How to Tell Your Success Stories
Part 5 1/2: How to Tell Your Strength Story
Part 6: How to Tell Your People Stories
Part 7: How To Tell Your Future Story: Nonprofit Storytelling
Part 8: Shape Stories to Motivate Action
Part 9: How Story Trumps Description