Hope this message finds you and your family safe and sane.
In the last few weeks, we’ve celebrated International Day of the Girl and Indigenous People’s Day—all while we were in the midst of Hispanic Heritage Month. Commemorations like these all represent opportunities for each of us—and our organizations—to tell stories.
So, what is Storytelling? Our favorite definitions come from Wikipedia and the National Storytelling Network:
- Storytelling is a means for sharing and interpreting experiences.
- Storytelling can be used as a method to teach ethics, values and cultural norms and differences.
- Storytelling is the interactive art of using words and actions to reveal the elements and images of a story while encouraging the listener’s imagination.
Storytelling is both an art and a science. The art is in the development of your narrative and the science is in evaluating if the narrative helped you or your organization accomplish a goal.
For a nonprofit, storytelling goals likely include the following:
- To attract donors and volunteers to your mission
- To recognize a funder
- To recruit new members
- To promote your services
- To document the need
- To proclaim your relevance
- To retain current donors and supporters
- To create a connection
- To motivate an action
- To increase awareness
The stories you and your favorite nonprofit need to develop to accomplish these goals will depend on your audience. Each objective offers your organization the opportunity to activate their imagination of your audience.
Likewise, Storytelling provides an opportunity to engage your employees in sharing how their personal stories connect to your mission. The value of this engagement opportunity is amplified as the Edelman Trust Barometer confirms that your consumers view your employees as your most trusted messengers.
Now back to International Day of the Girl, Indigenous People’s Day, and Hispanic Heritage Month…
As mothers of daughters, our legacies will largely be defined by how well Carla prepares Lucy and how well Sol prepares Julia, Clara and Ana to contribute meaningfully to our world, to raise their voices, and to advance the issues they care about most. We can use International Day of the Girl to celebrate our daughters and their potential and to weave their stories into a narrative that includes Greta Thunberg if they are passionate about climate change or Malala Yousafzai if they are fighting for educational opportunity.
As daughters, we contribute to the legacies of our parents by how we meaningfully contribute to the world, how we raise our voices, and how we advance the issues we care about most. We can celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day and Hispanic Heritage Month as catalysts to tell the stories about Carla’s father and his Native American heritage and about Sol’s mother and her lived experience in Patagonia, Argentina.
These celebrations offer us all the opportunity to teach ethics, values and cultural norms and differences via how we tell our stories.
Does Storytelling help you and your organization accomplish your marketing, engagement, and development objectives?
It can. And we can help.
Let’s talk and hatch a plan together.