Your Perfect Nonprofit Story In 3 Easy Steps

Your Perfect Nonprofit Story In 3 Easy Steps


Let’s start with this first important consideration: telling your nonprofit story is not about your value propositions or how you do what you do.

The perfect story is the “why?” The real people involved and the “why” behind it all.

You will want to tell your nonprofit’s perfect story (because that’s where the money is) by using these three easy steps and by making certain you understand 1) who you really are, 2) who you serve, and 3) how to create a stand-out plot by showcasing the hero of the story.


Who are you?

Melanie and I recently presented a workshop at the Nonprofit Learning Lab in Phoenix and an attendee asked me about their mission statement.

It was old and no longer represented their brand and could not be changed.

Many executive forget that mission statements are internal documents to guide the board and staff but they don’t always define the face or messaging of your nonprofit. And that’s okay.

But you still need to make certain that you understand who you really are as a nonprofit!


What’s the plot? Here are some guideposts:

  • Beating the Odds
  • Rags to Riches
  • Rebirth
  • The Quest
  • The Mystery The Voyage & Return

Each plot needs to include a challenge and conflicts, along with a call to action, growth, and outcome.


Who is the hero of your story? Are they willing or unwilling? Are they tragic, a loner, a catalyst, a cynic, or an unsung hero?

Extra Tips

Don’t forget to ask. “Who cares?” After you write a storyline ask yourself, “Who cares?" If the sentence isn’t compelling enough, rewrite it or delete it.

People respond to threes, so write your story titles that way. Consider The Three Little Pigs; The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, or Three Blind Mice

Follow this link to check out a FREE Story Structure Diagram that will help you lock down your nonprofit’s perfect story.

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