Storytelling tools and resources for nonprofit communicators

 In Communications

Why are stories important for nonprofit communicators and fundraisers?

  • Through stories, we help people to understand, relate to and remember difficult or complex issues.
  • Stories make emotional connections.
  • We inspire action and engage people through stories.
  • Stories influence thought leaders and decision makers.

5 Online Resources for Nonprofit Communicators

In this post, I highlight five outstanding online tools and resources to help you share stories that will motivate your audiences.

  1. Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences: Presentation innovator Nancy Duarte is the CEO of Duarte Inc. based in Sunnyvale, California and the publisher of books on how to create engaging and memorable presentations that move audiences. In Resonate, Duarte describes powerful storytelling techniques. Last year after I heard her speak at a gathering of the San Francisco Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) I wrote this post about Resonate including 10 Key Takeaways from this groundbreaking book.

  2. Hatch: The Rockefeller Foundation has worked with grantees to explore the intersection of storytelling and technology as a means to improve the well-being of humanity around the world. To this end, they published a digital storytelling report and recently launched Hatch, an online platform with tools and resources to help organizations strategically craft and share powerful stories.

  3. The Communications Network: This Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit supports foundations and nonprofits to improve lives through the power of smart communication. In January, the Network launched the blog series “Making Ideas Move” in partnership with the Stanford Social Innovation Review. The series explores how foundations, nonprofits, and other organizations use strategic communications to drive social change. The organization’s 2015 annual conference will convene in San Diego from September 30 through October 2. Registration will open June 1.

  4. Solutions Journalism Toolkit: One of my favorite columns in The New York Times is Fixes (an inspiration for this blog). In Fixes, David Bornstein and Tina Rosenberg explore solutions to major social problems. These two veteran journalists, along with Oakland-based Courtney Martin, co-founded the Solutions Journalism Network, which defines Solutions Journalism as “rigorous, compelling reporting about responses to social problems.” Nonprofit communicators can dive into this new toolkit to learn compelling storytelling techniques used by journalists.

  5. Digital Media Training Online: The UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism offers some of its training content at no cost. Here you will find online trainings, interactive live streams, videos and how-to tutorials through the school’s  Knight Media Digital Center. With these trainings you can begin to explore and develop skills for multi-media storytelling.

Storytelling is a powerful tool for social change and new digital tools are making it possible to create ripples across society in new ways all of the time. Please comment if you have more resources to share.

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