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Telling Your Story to Stand Out

Jessica Walker Jessica Walker

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The nonprofit world is large and there are often many other organizations working in the same or similar cause areas. To secure funding and keep your nonprofit running, it’s important to make your work stand out from the rest – telling your story in an exciting, clear way. We’ve seen suggestions on the blog earlier this month for using social media, now let’s look at two new(ish) tools available for developing more robust stories.

Hatch– Supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, this is a suite of tools and a community of users that help you craft your story and then share it to increase your reach and impact. There are 5 sections which help you formulate your ideas; they focus on strategy, capacity, content, platform, and evaluation and the Hatch tools provide questions, recommendations, and case studies for each step of the way!

Animoto– This site allows nonprofits to develop quality videos that make it easy to share your accomplishments with a wide audience. It provides tools for editing images and video clips into a single, high quality presentation of your story. With more people using social media, being able to tell your story in multiple formats is essential.

These new tools can help nonprofits share their stories in new, exciting ways. And they can complement the more traditional annual report, which lets you tell your story in a more structured way – sharing accomplishments, programs, and financial information. But annual reports no longer need to be simply a printed piece, they can also leverage visuals and interactive components to tell their story. Here are two examples:

1. Foundation Center’s 2013 annual report– this report includes all the key components, while adding visual context in an interactive format. The formatting of this report also allows the Center to highlight the interaction of their efforts within the larger context of their mission. Being attentive to their various constituencies, the Foundation Center continues to offer their report in a pdf format as well.

2. Independent Sector’s site– this report maintains the traditional elements of an annual report – with summaries of programs, successes, and lots of images, while creating a more interactive experience. By publishing in this way, they are able to link to more information, keeping the actual report succinct, while giving readers an opportunity to learn more about the programs and efforts that most interest them.

So, as technology and social media become (even more) ubiquitous, it is important to consider updating the methods you use to tell your story. Always be sure to highlight your mission, and be clear and transparent about your work; but consider some new tools and platforms that allow to tell your story with even more personality!

Jessica Walker is development coordinator for GuideStar. This is the forth post in our monthly Development Corner series. Click here and here for more Development Corner blog posts.

Topics: Fundraising
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