Financial ManagementVolunteer Management

Telling meaningful stories with volunteer management software

Nonprofit and volunteer management software platforms can help charities improve their storytelling skills. There is a variety of methods used by nonprofits to effectively tell a story, though each method improves with accurate data, meaningful connections and a little pizzazz.

How to tell strong stories
Vanessa Chase, founder of The Storytelling Nonprofit, noted that stewardship is an excellent vehicle for relaying stories. Taking an opportunity to share results or images from past events with constituents is a great idea. Look at the thank-you form letter that many donors receive after giving and find a place for a small story within it. These impactful tales reiterate the importance of gifts.

“Visual storytelling helps nonprofits demonstrate their numerical data in a digestible way.”

The Chronicle of Philanthropy stated that each nonprofit needs to define its own strengths and focus. Without knowing what the organization excels at, it’s impossible to grow or stand out among the countless groups contributing to the same vein of work. The Chronicle discussed the Global Press Institute, a nonprofit organization that empowers female journalists in developing countries to document their lives and tell stories in unique ways. The focus of this particular charity doesn’t ever veer from its course. Its mantra essentially revolves around the notion that local people should tell their own stories. Global Press has seen much success with this strict focus.

Looking at storytelling in a new way
An interview with Malayna Williams, a managing partner at PWR News Media featured in Chicago, Now dug deeper in to the realm of storytelling. Williams advocated for the use of visual communication devices in 2015. Incorporating photos, infographics and video into e-newsletters or annual reports can dramatically enhance the viewer experience. It’s often hard for readers to take in large chunks of text. Instead of relying on numbers to do all the talking, provide engaging imagery to draw in donors. Images are also easier to share across social media and networking channels. Powerful visuals that convey more than just a set of data can impact contributors and even first-time donors in a meaningful way.

It often helps for nonprofits to demonstrate their numerical data through digestible methods. For example, rather than listing the amount of funding raised in the last year for a local school, show students with the textbooks and tablets that the fundraiser helped buy. Visual, written and spoken storytelling, above all else, needs to draw others in.

Nonprofits using volunteer management software can better communicate with volunteers and donors, in addition to organizing data in a meaningful and engaging way.