6 Tips to Take Bios From Boring to Brilliant
When it comes to building relationships and trust with supporters and prospects, sharing the smallest, most specific details about your organization’s people is a proven tactic. Is that what you’re doing?
Relationships are built person to person, not person to organization. So put your people forward! Pithy, punchy staff bios — with photos — introduce prospects to your organization at a personal, emotional level, motivating them to dig more deeply into the details of how your organization tackles its cause and how folks can help as donors or volunteers.
Here are some well-tested guidelines for crafting bios that help audiences connect with your organization, illustrated by some useful models:
1. Start with these bio basics. Staff bios are simply story-based versions of the information you’d usually include in a résumé. They’re designed to provide an accurate sense of who your team members are and what they do, to establish expertise and credibility, and to qualify their experiences and background.
This format is less formal and more accessible than a résumé (when done right) and gives you an opportunity to highlight a few interesting facts about each team member while injecting a touch of personality. Together, these elements combine to nurture trust in your team and your organizational brand.
But crafting bios that connect isn’t as easy as it looks. Even organizations that do so much right, like the Appalachian Mountain Club, can misstep here. The American Mountain Club’s laundry list of leadership names gives me no sense of the organization’s culture, or a face, or personal detail to hold on to! I like seeing photos of some of the animals saved by the Española Valley Humane Society, but I wish I could learn more about some of the team so dedicated to this important work. It’s tough to take the next step in getting involved when you can’t get a sense of whom you’re counting on to advance the issue you both care so much about or whose salary you’ll help pay as donor.