Posts in “Storytelling”


How to Memorize Your One Minute Message

You’ve spent a lot of time devising the perfect elevator pitch, or One Minute Message, for your organization. But now what? Don’t leave your One Minute Message stranded on your computer! Now’s the time to get practicing and take it out on the town. Using your new messaging often will help you make it routine, and eventually second-nature. Once you’re comfortable using your One Minute Message, you’ll be able to easily recite it on the fly while talking to prospective donors, introducing your organization to a group, or when a new acquaintance asks you, “So, what... +Read More

Your Organization’s Story: In Five Minutes

With your One Minute Message and your Two Minute Messages developed, you’re well prepared to give an arresting introduction and explain why your organization is needed. Used effectively, these messages give you a greater chance at keeping your listener interested. Now it’s time to paint a picture of the impact of your work. What happens as a result of your efforts? Many nonprofits see the right answer to this question as an invitation to spew facts, figures, and statistics. It’s been said before that a pie chart never made anyone march on Washington, and a statistic never made anyone cry. We... +Read More

Your Case for Support: Good Design Will Make it Stronger

In my last post, I relayed the importance of injecting emotion into your next capital campaign. Emotion, after all, is a key element in our equation for a great case for support. Rationale + Urgency + Emotion = Great Case Once you’ve written a great case statement, your next job is to make sure it isn’t a chore to read. At Mission Minded, we make sure every case brochure we design passes the “I’m too busy to read” test. For us, that means imagining that a prospective donor never actually reads the text. We picture her flipping through the brochure, looking at the headlines, the call-out... +Read More

Is Your Annual Report Telling the Right Story?

Recently one of our clients, a program officer at a private foundation, complained to me that so many of the stories she reads in annual reports sound the same. “Are stories really that important?” she asked. My first instinct was to argue with her. After all, I’ve spent most of my career trying to convince nonprofits that storytelling is essential. And it is. In a head to head test, donors presented with the story of a single individual were more likely to give than when presented with data proving the efficacy of an organization. Stories work. And yet, the more I thought about it, the more... +Read More

Why Your Nonprofit Needs an Enemy

A recent article in AdAge argues that every great story, and every great brand, has a strong, evident antagonist–someone to fight against. The author explains that Apple’s enemy was Microsoft, just as Luke fought against Darth Vader. Great consumer marketing does this: It positions one product against another. We choose Nike over Reebok or Coke instead of Pepsi. I’d like to take this one step further as we think about the nonprofit sector. Your brand is a story, a story in which those who align with your brand are pitted against a challenging foe. But nonprofit enemies aren’t other... +Read More