How to Create an Engaging Story for Your Next Nonprofit Fundraising Campaign


Most fundraising content I read doesn’t have a story.

But to increase donations during your next nonprofit fundraising campaign, you need to tell the story. Stories evoke feelings from your potential donors. So you should use storytelling to evoke feelings in your next fundraising campaigns.

A good, engaging story includes:

  • Specific details

  • Name & place

  • Feeling the person experienced

How to craft your story

To start crafting the story for your next fundraising campaign, pick a specific story you want to tell of a person.

Include one or two unique traits that make that person unique. Typically, when people try to tell a story, they want to throw those traits away. But these unique traits help create your character and help your potential donors connect with the story.

Next, identify your character’s goal. Incorporate that goal into the first couple sentences of your story. What is that goal - to learn to read, to have a better life, to provide for their children.

When it comes to reaching goals, we always run into barriers. Maybe your character has a little internal conflict (e.g. “I didn’t know any better,”) but there might be some external content as well.

Then, talk about the impact from your organization.

At the end, include more than 3 sentences about your programming or fundraising campaign.

Spend your time using the story to connect with potential donors, then include a brief call-to-action to bring it all together at the end.

Tell the story on social media

Don’t forget to use social media and tell your story.

People feel like I’m everywhere because I show up and engage on social media.

By telling stories on social media, you can start building a relationship with potential donors and helping them understand your mission.

The whole goal is to present who you are as an organization to people on the other side. What better way to connect with your potential donors than to share relatable stories via social media?

And when it comes to getting your story out there, you should also boost your content. Because if you’re spending time developing good content, spend money making sure that content gets in front of people.

What You Can Do Next

The one thing you can do to be better at donor messaging is to start telling your own stories.

  1. Identify a story you can tell.

  2. Create something specific.

  3. Use social media to tell that story.

What story are you going to use in your nonprofit’s messaging? Start sharing your story in a comment below!