Storytelling For Your #GivingTuesday Campaign

Flickr credit: Local Studies NSW

Read the title of this post again. You may be thinking, “It’s a 24-hour fundraising challenge. How can storytelling be the most important part?” Trust us – and let us explain.

Each year, the #GivingTuesday movement shines a light on thousands of nonprofits doing good in their communities and around the world, in the middle of the most heavily advertised season of the year. Competition for eyes and dollars is stiff. So how do you make your cause stand out? It likely won’t be because of a pretty donation page or a new homepage banner or even a smart hashtag. Simply put: you need to make a statement with your story.

CauseVox is all about using storytelling for crowdfunding campaigns, and we think #GivingTuesday is a really great opportunity to make it the central element. Here are a few ways you can do that with our help.

Remember the season

#GivingTuesday falls smack in the middle of the holiday season – a time when certain emotions and issues are on the mind: winter weather, family, generosity, reflection and planning, etc. So why not create a crowdfunding campaign that hits on one of these concepts? Perhaps your organization has special needs at this time of year, or you have a deadline approaching to complete a program.

You could raise funds for new school books while sharing stories from teachers and students in the classrooms you’re funding. Or if you’re trying to help homeless people get a fresh start for the New Year, you could do a whole “Looking Back and Moving Forward” storyline about how people’s circumstances change.

CauseVox Tip: #GivingTuesday may only be one day, but your story can last for an entire season. Use it to show how an investment now impacts the future.

Let your community become the characters

Everyone wants to be the hero of his or her own story. People love getting recognition from causes they support, and seeing their impact firsthand. When crafting your #GivingTuesday crowdfunding campaign, think about how you can give your community a chance to play a role beyond donating: can they “choose their own adventure”, i.e. help decide what programs receive funding; can they have a dialogue with other main characters in the story, like organizational board and staff or partners; can they narrate their own chapters on why they give to your nonprofit and how it’s made a difference in their lives?

CauseVox Tip: It’s more fun when you get to become part of the story. Craft a campaign that creates opportunities for your community to dig deeper.

Flickr credit: woodleywonderworks

Keep the story going

People love a good book series, or a TV show that compels them to tune in each week or binge watch in a weekend. A well-done story creates connections to the readers/viewers/listeners, and over time, you become invested in the characters and outcome.

Just because #GivingTuesday only lasts for a day doesn’t mean you can’t have several installments of a story that keeps new or existing donors coming back for more. Thinking about your story in multiple chapters, or segments, gives you room to experiment with sharing different perspectives, using multiple mediums, and creating more than one point of inspiration.

CauseVox Tip: Start telling your story a couple of weeks before #GivingTuesday, and craft it so that it continues after December 2 – giving donors a reason to stay with you.

Find more #GivingTuesday resources here, and download our new comprehensive guide to planning your campaign.

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