The Rise of Technology and Fundraising Education
Nonprofits face these changes in the way we communicate. For nonprofits especially it’s an opportunity because people are watching more online. It’s a real chance for nonprofits to be there visually. It’s also a challenge because there’s just so much video content. How do we possibly break through all that clutter?
One way to do that is through effective stories. Storytelling is how we break through all that noise. For the nonprofit sector, these are stories that have the supporters as the heroes. Really the most effective way to communicate when we think of fundraising is visually. If you attach a video to a tweet or Facebook page entry, it gets two and a half times more sharing. Think of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube — they’re massive nets to catch people and direct to them to your website. We see an opportunity here for nonprofits to tell their stories to new audiences in ways they never dreamed they’d have before.
That’s one thing we do with video labs … help students capture the big “so what?” of their organization. What is their mission? It’s no longer three paragraphs some lawyer carefully crafted. It’s really now how to capture that in a slogan and how can we capture that visually so it’s not the nonprofit saying how fabulous we are, but it’s more focusing on the people we can help and showing how we’re moving the needle with donor dollars. And it’s also looking at all those donors and volunteers and sharing, lifting the curtain on the way nonprofits work and how they are helping in everyday ways. There’s nothing more powerful than that.
Unlike journalism, a lot of fundraising folks are not trained in storytelling. But if you’re a good storyteller, you don’t really need to be. What you need to be trained on is some of the technical stuff and also to think of narrative arcs and of all the ways we can tell stories. Which are the right approaches for the right moments? Over time, start seeing things that your nonprofit is doing that ought to be captured and used as content.