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Episode 003: It Starts With A Story And Ends With A Donation Show Notes

One of our favorites, Seth Godin, has a book called “All Marketers Are Liars,” – the words “are liars” are crossed out and replaced with “tell stories.”

Seth warns that traditional marketing is no longer doing the job. This means as-you-know-it television ads, full-page newspaper ads, and other strategies used successfully 10 years ago, are not working anymore.

Today businesses and nonprofits are discovering that to connect with supporters they first need a compelling story. A great story, or two, is the very thing that will give you the edge so that you stand out from every other organization out their asking for money and support.

BUT FIRST let’s back to the basics people! You must understand and live your brand. People will recognize your brand visual and messaging inconsistencies. So, if you are confused about your brand so is everyone else at this means that your story will not be believable.

Follow this link to learn how you can FIX YOUR BRAND.

There are basically three steps to creating a story.

  1. DETERMINE the DESIRED ACTION you want your viewer to take.
  2. DECIDE what EMOTIONAL TRIGGER will get them to take the action. Emotions like curiosity, empathy, trust, inspired, etc.
  3. CHOOSE the right “POWER WORDS” to illicit that emotion and sprinkle them throughout your story.

Top Power Words for Nonprofits

  • What no one tells you
  • Behind the scenes
  • Insider
  • Unbelievable
  • Secret
  • Magical
  • Instantly
  • Miracle
  • Left behind
  • Absolutely
  • Safe
  • Extra
  • Supported
  • Delighted
  • So easy
  • First ever
  • Honored


More Power for Nonprofits

  • Genuine
  • Self-sufficient
  • Secure
  • Humble
  • Solid
  • Responsible
  • Courageous
  • Innocent
  • Liberated
  • Thankful
  • Blessed
  • Brave
  • Unique

To further help you develop your organization’s unique story, ask yourself these questions:

What makes you get out of bed every morning?

Who is your favorite donor, sponsor, or volunteer, and why?

What happens when ________________?

What has been your personal experience with your [organization’s name]?

Melanie keeps a white board in her office to write down every story idea as she thinks of it.

If you don’t retain anything from this podcast, remember this ONE THING. Everyone wants to be a hero.

Build Your Hero Story This Way

  1. Describe the personal struggle.
  2. Tell viewers how the struggle was resolved.
  3. Explain how only the viewer together with your organization could make a real impact in creating a positive outcome.

Where to Deliver Your Story

  • Facebook Live (think behind-the-scenes)
  • Instagram Stories
  • Newsletter
  • Blog
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • Sponsor/Partner Websites
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