Tips for Effective Storytelling for Nonprofits


Nonprofit storytelling is an essential skill to have to maintain a successful nonprofit organization. Storytelling informs your donors about how their donations are being spent and who their donations affect.

This article provides 4 essential tips to effective storytelling. You will learn how and why it is important to be intentional, how to evoke emotion and empathy, how to initiate connections, and the importance of saying thank you to your donors through storytelling.




Organization is key to effective storytelling. The first thing you want to do is create a plan for the story you want to tell. Begin by setting your goals on what you want to communicate with your audience. Next figure out the Who, What, Where, When, Why , and How of your story. Once you have a proper outline figured out, you will find it much easier to tell the story.

Be intentional about how much detail you share by keeping content short and attention grabbing. Try to only include important facts that are vital to the story. Good storytelling keeps the audience interested by finding a suitable balance between the story’s length, timing, and authentic content.





Keeping in mind that it is important to be intentional with the details you share, choose specific facts to build your story that will evoke emotion and empathy. Your aim is to help your donors feel personally connected to the cause, and you can do that by using the names and photos of those in your story. Videos are also a great tool in effective storytelling because it quickly visualizes and humanizes the story.

There are many ways to evoke emotion and empathy in storytelling, and this short article provides 4 examples of effective nonprofit storytelling.





A key element of effective nonprofit storytelling is initiating connections between the story and the audience. Once the story has been told and donors become emotionally invested, you can connect them even further by explaining how their donations impact the cause. Let your audience know specifically where donations go and how they are used.

This is where you can point out how change will happen and why it matters. To compliment your story, visual aids can be a helpful tool that highlight these facts. Many Nonprofits use infographics as an effective storytelling tool. Infographics can be displayed on a variety of mediums from social media platforms to printed media.





Don’t forget about gratitude! Always remember to appreciate your donors and say thank you. Acknowledging the efforts of your donors is another key element specific to effective nonprofit storytelling. A good thank you has the ability to seal the connection your story made and builds personal relationships with donors to increase donor loyalty.




To review, always begin with a plan where you organize your facts of Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. It is important to be intentional in your storytelling to maintain the interest and attention of viewers. Evoke emotion and empathy by providing specific details about those in the story. Things like names, photos, and videos allow donors to see the story at a personal level. Create connections between the viewer and story by explaining how donations directly affect the cause. Infographics are a great tool to put a focus on this information. Perhaps the most important element of effective nonprofit storytelling is wrapping things up with a thank you. Acknowledgment goes a long way!



Consistency is key! Make sure to update your donors often about how their donations are impacting the cause. Monthly impact reports, newsletters, and handwritten notes are great tools that can be personalized and sent directly to your donors. Storytelling is only one way to Increase Donor Loyalty with our Best Practices.

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9 Steps to Increase Your Average Donation Amount

Fundraising is a year-round concern for nonprofit organizations that rely on donations and contributions to operate successfully.

Those tasked with this challenge must focus on multiple levels, expanding their list of contributors, turning them into repeat contributors, and finding ways to enlarge the contribution sum.

This article explores ten things nonprofits can do to increase donation amounts.

Challenges with Donation Amounts Today

Budgets indeed limit most donations, but there is always the possibility that you can increase donation amounts. While your supporters can’t be forced to give a certain amount, you’ll be amazed at how responsive they are to some tried and true tips and tricks.

When making future financial assessments based on donations, we review our performance from previous periods to establish a basis to work off of. However, we must always consider the possibility of dramatic changes, especially in times of economic instability.

Even if the previous year’s contributions from your donors met or even surpassed the amount required for your foundation’s operational costs, it does not mean that you can be confident that this next year will repeat the same numbers. Each contributor can be experiencing different situations, and in hard times, donations are the first to be reduced.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work the other way around. In terms of looking at the correlation between one’s existing contributions and changes in their financial status, the general rule is that when a donor’s financial situation changes negatively, their contribution can be reduced. In contrast, at best, a positive change in a donor’s financial position will result in their contribution staying the same as in the previous period.


Top 10 Ways to Increase Donation Amounts

Keep in mind that looking to add new donors to your list is always a top priority, but that’s not the only way to boost your contributions. In looking to increase donation amounts, often, you must get creative.

A recurring donor is most likely to contribute a set amount over each period. But there should always be a strategy in place for deepening your relationship with your existing donors with a focus on increasing the recurring contribution amount.


9 steps to increasing the contribution amounts from your existing donors

1. Prioritize Repeat Donors

Change your mindset to increase donor loyalty instead of focusing your efforts on more donors. You want to view your relationship with donors as an opportunity to make a more significant impact in the long run rather than funds being the ultimate end goal.

Your donors will be more invested in the growth and success of your organization the more you have a two-way relationship with them.


2. Reach Out to Major Donors

Building a relationship with your donors after they make a gift is known as donor stewardship. Encouraging your donors to increase donation amounts is the main aim of stewarding your donors. Make donors feel loyal and increase future fundraising by creating a relationship with them.


3. Build a Dedicated Sustainer Program

Although you want to consciously thank all contributions to your cause, sustainer donors need to be thanked with a bit of extra care. To help maintain the momentum of your top supporters, create a donor loyalty program. Ideas for these types of programs might include:

●      Exclusive member-only newsletters

●      Special tickets to events

●      Branded gifts

●      Member-only events

●      Networking opportunities


4. Personalize Outreach Efforts

Having a one-on-one relationship with every donor is the ideal situation in the perfect world for an organization. Unfortunately, that’s not the most realistic expectation to have in most instances.

Still, you can begin tracking and measuring all of your interactions with donors to start personalizing your content as much as possible. Some critical information you should constantly be monitoring includes:

●      How new donors are driven to your organization

●      Motivating factors

●      Preferred communication channels

●      Donor demographics or segments


5. Establish a Sense of Urgency

Many donors might be under the impression that your cause isn’t going anywhere in the immediate future. That means they are in no rush to donate a large sum right away. Creating goals for the quarter, year, etc., develops a sense of urgency that helps put a timeline on some of your efforts for supporters who may be more incentivized to increase donation amounts.


6. Show Supporters Where Donations Go

Showing your supporters where their donations go is another powerful tool to increase donation amounts. Donors might be more motivated to raise more significant amounts when they can see the actual results of their contributions.

7. Ask For More Support

Another surefire way to increase donation amounts is by asking for more support. Consider interacting with donors face-to-face to help promote confidence in and amongst your organization. There are plenty of different ways to help build support in your organization. Some ideas might include:

●      Ask donors to join your team for a hike

●      Hosting an in-person event for supporters

●      Invite donors to tour your offices

●      Hosting a virtual event


8. Say ‘Thank You’

Any contributions your donor makes towards your cause should always be thanked. It doesn’t matter what the size of the donation is. Believe it or not, something as simple as a thank-you can make or break a relationship with a donor.

A great way to show donors that you appreciate them is by writing thank-you notes, while it can be challenging at times. Luckily, you can get the job done quickly and easily with the help of services like Postalgia.

Taking care of all details, including the address verification, postage, and mailing, Postalgia will pen your individualized donor thank you notes on your letterhead with high-quality card stock.

These days, a handwritten note is rare. Many of us have grown accustomed to receiving countless messages by email, social media, and text every day instead. Instantly stand out and create a unique and personal connection with the recipient by sending a handwritten thank-you card or letter.

Postalgia handwritten letters, notes, or cards to your stakeholders are written using genuine ink and penned by robots, although remarkably human. Postalgia will print and mail these personalized handwritten donor thank-you notes on your behalf for the ultimate convenience.


9. Create a Donor Database

More than simply donating money, remember that your donors can contribute to your efforts. Even if donors don’t have the funds to donate at this time, always have opportunities for your donors to get more involved with your organization. Through this, you can create a donor database that keeps them in the loop for opportunities that may arise in the future once they have the funds available again.



Personalizing the experience is the best way to increase donation amounts. Critical components of the donor-stewardship include getting to know your donors, what they like, and what you can do to maintain your relationship with them.

Of course, you can do more to help increase donation amounts. Follow these 10 steps to increase gift giving from your donors and jumpstart your fundraising efforts.

By producing beautifully handwritten personalized thank you letters to donors at scale, Postalgia can help you deliver that personalized touch by creating physical media such as newsletters and fundraising campaigns.


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