We all know that telling stories is an effective and fun way to inform others about our programs—what’s worked and what hasn’t—and to garner support for them. But telling stories about our organization and staff is just as important, since it helps to create community.
Stories are powerful because they can:
- Explain something complex or hard to believe in an understandable, manageable way
- Change someone’s perspective on an event, person, place, or issue
- Bring together people who otherwise would not have known about each other
- Change a situation or topic from taboo or uncomfortable to accepted and approachable
- Create a safe place for ideas, fears, questions, and wonder
- Start a conversation, as well as friendships, that will continue long after the story
To tell stories internally (to people from the organization, and not those served), you could:
- Start a staff blog to discuss volunteer work, personal projects, life lessons learned, etc.
- Post short videos on the staff page instead of photos of staff members, letting individuals share their passion for the organization, their focus area, or their job duty
- Create a group in Flickr or another photo-sharing tool so staff can post videos from events or the office
- Collect staffers’ individual descriptions of the organization’s projects to post collectively
- And much more
When it comes to telling stories from the inside, imagine a ladder whose rungs are: blogs, podcasts, videos, live chat, and so forth, all of which contribute to elevating the story.
How have you told stories from your organization? How could you add to the stories of your clients ormembers with your staffers’ stories?
Amy Sample Ward’s passion for nonprofit technology has lead to her involvement with NTEN, NetSquared, and a host of other organizations. She shares many of her thoughts on nonprofit technology news and evolutions on her blog.