storytelling

Boost Nonprofit Video ViewsGuest blogger Mark Horvath founded and leads Invisible People. Today he shares how to boost your YouTube views from meh to magnificent.  BTW, Mark’s video version of this post features bonus tips not found here! Here’s Mark…

I was thrilled with the performance of Invisible People’s YouTube channel for the last few years. With a focus on homelessness education, an average of 40,000 monthly views was fantastic, or so I thought.

That changed after we joined Patreon a few months back and I started to pay more attention to YouTube. The lightbulb went off when I typed “homeless” into the YouTube search bar. Invisible People undoubtedly has more videos from homeless people than any other content creator. All that came up was prank videos and other awful content that was so far from the truth about homelessness. None of our videos were showing in search with the keyword “homeless.” I knew I had to fix this, and here’s how:
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Guest Blogger on August 1, 2017 in Video | 0 comments
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Our first post in the new Do-It-Differently series, featuring fresh ideas from the field. Thanks to Renee Thompson, director of philanthropy, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee

Nonprofit StorytellingTested Turnaround! Introducing a new fundraising spokesperson—one of our clients (an individual who’s benefited from our donors’ support).

Keeping It All about Our Donors, Not Our Organization
Traditionally, our ED produced all year-end content, reviewing the past year’s work and impact. That’s how most organizations do it, after all.

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Guest Blogger on November 17, 2015 in All-Org Marketing Team | 2 comments
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Connect to convert: Nonprofit communications

Let’s be real: Your organization is one of the many that can’t use kitty or puppy photos to raise money or recruit volunteers.

In Part One of this mini-guide, I shared my take on why such emotional candy works so well to raise money or recruit volunteers. And cited a reliable litmus test for photo-story impact—1) If you’d share them with your family and friends; 2) would they “like” or share them.

But you can make emotional connections with your target audiences, even WITHOUT kittens and puppies.

In fact—if your organization is not an animal rescue or another organization directly related to puppies, kitties or babies—these alternatives are far more effective in helping your forge connections and motivate your audiences to give, register or volunteer. Most importantly, they are authentic, relevant messages, rather than manipulative click-bait.

Here are two tested methods, with examples:

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Nancy Schwartz on November 3, 2015 in storytelling | 1 comment
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RedRover

Part Two

Adorable! Few of us can resist photos like this one, which is why you see so many organizations communicating cute.

But if your organization doesn’t have piglet or puppy photos to share, what can you do? Assess what makes these photos so magnetic, then share some of that.

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Nancy Schwartz on October 20, 2015 in storytelling | 0 comments
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Visual StorytelingWhen executed well, visual storytelling cuts through the clutter, delivering  a mental image that resonates and is remembered (so more likely to be repeated).

Take this unforgettable example from MAMA (Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action). I couldn’t look away, but instead lingered on the image, taking in the different women and their range of expressions. Most importantly, the photo quickly and memorably conveys not only what MAMA does, but how—improving health through educating and supporting moms via mobile messages. That’s a tough concept to get in a flash, but this photo says it all.

You can do it too! When you have your message hat on, keep an eye out for the image that says it all, and ask and train your colleagues to do the same. You’ll know it when you see it (or get a vision of what set up will be unforgettable), just like the  MAMA folks did.

BTW, MAMA does great here on the relevance scale as well, leading linking this visual story with International Women’s Day (coming up later this week).

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More on Visual Storytelling

Nancy Schwartz on March 4, 2015 in storytelling | 0 comments
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Guest author JennNonprofit Storytelling #GivingTuesdaya Sauber is a crowdfunding and digital marketing expert at CauseVox, a peer-to-peer fundraising software for nonprofits.

The beauty of a movement like #GivingTuesday is that the nonprofit world gets to shine in the midst of the chaotic and overwhelming madness that is the holiday retail season.

But let’s face it: when your nonprofit is one of hundreds, or thousands participating in this growing global giving day, making your story stand out can be an intimidating task. You’ve got a short lead in to December 2, and then you have 24 hours (less if you think about when people are awake and online) to inspire people to give.

So how do you amp up your fundraising appeal in a way that encourages people to click that donate button? Use the power of storytelling! Here are a few of my favorite tips to consider as you craft your storytelling plan for #GivingTuesday.

1) Make your story relevant

When planning a move, people always say “location, location, location.” For #GivingTuesday, it’s of the utmost importance to keep things relevant. And we’re not just talking about staying on topic to your mission—but think of the time of year, think seasonal.

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Guest Blogger on November 13, 2014 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 4 comments
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Flickr: Zennie AbrahamWhen I heard that Maya Angelou had passed away this week, I was saddened, humbled and hugely appreciative.

Unlike most writers (especially poets and memoirists) or activists, Dr. Angelou made herself and her perspective accessible and relevant to all. She did so by shaping her writing around the same sensations and feelings each one of us experiences, bridging the gap between her life and point of view, and ours:

Human beings should understand how other humans feel no matter where they are, no matter what their language or culture is, no matter their age, and no matter the age in which they live. If you develop the art of seeing us as more alike than we are unalike, then all stories are understandable. (via Harvard Business Review)

There’s so much I learned from Angelou, so many ways and times she inspired me. Today, I want to share her storytelling secret sauce with you…

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Nancy Schwartz on May 29, 2014 in storytelling | 2 comments
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juliebrownGuest blogger, Julie Brown, Program Director at the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation. Julie is intrigued by storytelling, and the opportunity it offers to inspire donors and volunteers to act.

Barely a year ago, one of my co-workers, Lisa Houck, and I were happy to spend a day together at a Nancy Schwartz training called “How to Tell Five-Star Stories.”   Lisa and I share content management duties for the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation Facebook page.

Other than a hazy wish hoping for additional Facebook followers, we had no specific goals.  Each day, we decided what our followers needed to hear and then we used Facebook to broadcast it to them. And we thought we were pretty good at it!

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Guest Blogger on March 13, 2014 in storytelling | 9 comments
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juliebrownGuest blogger, Julie Brown, Program Director at the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation. Julie is intrigued by storytelling, and the opportunity it offers to inspire donors and volunteers to act.

As storytellers for a Community Foundation, we find ourselves in the enviable position of having too many stories to tell: agency stories of great grant-funded programs, emotional client stories of lives transformed by these programs, and donor stories about those special folks who make all of our work possible.

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Guest Blogger on February 6, 2014 in storytelling | 1 comment
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juliebrownGuest blogger, Julie Brown, Program Director at the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation. Julie is intrigued by storytelling, and the opportunity it offers to inspire donors and volunteers to act.

As a program officer preparing a presentation for our board, I search for one answer:  “What is the common thread in the successful video nonprofit storytelling projects this board has funded?”  Some videos make an impact and some don’t.

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Guest Blogger on December 5, 2013 in storytelling | 12 comments
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