Monday Mixtape 015: Storytellers Make Better Fundraisers

Monday Mixtape 015: Storytellers Make Better Fundraisers

Here’s your Monday Mixtape, a weekly newsletter from CauseVox designed to jumpstart your week, challenge your thinking, and inspire you to keep at it.

Each week, we’ll hand-pick must-read articles, thinking, resources, and stories for nonprofit fundraisers and leaders and drop it in your inbox. Have suggestions or questions? Let us know at Enjoy this week’s Mixtape!

Quick! What’s the difference between an engaged donor who’s inspired to give, and a bored donor who’s ready to move on?

One of them received a sales pitch and the other a story.

Storytelling activates empathy, opens hearts and minds, and helps donors understand and care about your cause. Stories can also help showcase your nonprofit’s voice and why your community should rally in support of your cause.

It’s one of the most important things you can do as a nonprofit, and at the center of every successful fundraising campaign. So this week, we’re looking at storytelling. Need to make the case for stories over stats?

Take a look at two infographics on how for-profit brands use stories to improve their bottom lines. Want to develop a culture of storytelling at your organization, or see some A+ examples of video storytelling? I’ve got you!

Here’s this week’s mix:

“If you change the way you tell your own story, you can change the colour and create a life in technicolour.” – Isabel Allende

Track #1: Infographic: How Storytelling Is Helping Brands Sell More Products, by Emma Bazilian at Adweek

Storytelling doesn’t just motivate giving, it influences what people think something is worth. This infographic shows the differences in consumer behavior when a product is presented with a story, versus only with product information. Just having a story on the same page as the product information makes people think the product is more valuable and increases the amount they’d be willing to pay for it. Interesting!

Track #2: How To Create A Culture Of Storytelling In Your Nonprofit, by Julia Campbell at CauseVox

Do you feel like you’re constantly digging for stories, all alone? A culture of storytelling doesn’t just spring up overnight. You’ve got to build it within an organization. Julia Campbell gives seven steps to creating a storytelling culture, including getting buy-in across the organization, making the case for storytelling, taking storytelling opportunities together, and empowering storytellers. When everyone is a storyteller, organizations really shine.

Weekly Wow

In today’s connected economy, attention is the most valuable currency.

Why? Attention is finite, it’s difficult to earn due to increased competition, and maintaining it in our hyper-connected, distraction-filled world is even harder.

Organizations are having to adapt to this new reality and in our latest on-demand webinar training, we share how leaders at arts, animal, and advocacy to cancer, crisis relief, and community-service nonprofits are successfully growing their impact.

You can watch the training on-demand here.

Track #3: Infographic: The Science Of Storytelling, by Marissa Sternberg at OneSpot

Another for-profit infographic, this one about storytelling science. This is a great overview of all the ways storytelling lights up brains and changes behavior, and how to optimize your content to center storytelling. I particularly like how it breaks down different storytelling media and the tips for improving storytelling in each one. It also has a lot of interesting facts. Did you know that 92% of consumers want brands to make ads that feel like stories? I didn’t!

Track #4: The Hero’s Journey: How To Write A Compelling Story That Inspires Donors To Get Involved by Me 🙂

When you picture a storyteller, what do you see? A mythic figure beside a campfire? A gregarious “life of the party” person? A novelist? A Hollywood director?

Do you see yourself?

Storytelling is essential for fundraising. At CauseVox, we often say storytelling is fundraising fuel. But telling your story in a way that moves people to action and compassion can be tricky. Luckily, storytelling is a learnable skill, and humans are keyed into one story in particular.

In this article, I share a framework that will help you craft a story that inspires your community to become supporters.

Bonus Tracks

When you need to call in an expert …

Racing brain? Try a bedtime story …

15 video storytelling examples for online fundraising

By The Way…

This Thursday, we’re partnering with Brady Josephson from NextAfter, a nonprofit fundraising optimization firm, to host a webinar to share the ten key elements of a great fundraising email, based on 218 experiments, and uncover the ONE underlying secret behind successful email campaigns.

You can learn more and grab your spot here.

Thanks for reading!

– Megan

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P.S. Questions about this week’s mix? Suggestions for next week? Don’t leave me in the dark. Let me know by emailing me at

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