The truth is in the telling: stories will outlast careers, good deeds, memorable events, and even programs. Long after your tenure at your workplace, long after the gifts you give, and perhaps long after your organization fulfills its mission, people will tell stories of your good deeds.

That is, they might tell your story – if you start off on the right foot. This principle is true for foundations, nonprofit organizations, and individual philanthropists.

While storytelling has become a hot topic in the nonprofit world lately, it is a tricky business to captivate and compel your audience so much that they spread your message for years to come. Cause marketer Jonah Sach’s new book, Winning the Story Wars, provides actionable advice for nonprofits and individuals looking to better tell their story of giving. He says there are several key elements that are present in all the great stories of popular culture (think Star Wars, the Lord of the Rings – even folk stories like 1001 Nights), which include a hero, a mentor, and a gift. In his own words, Sachs states:

The Gift is what the Mentor gives the Hero to bolster his confidence in being able to complete the adventure, to make the impossible seem possible. It’s unique, beautiful, unexpected.

For example, CAAP (as a mentor) empowers Arab Americans (the heroes of our story) through our various giving mechanisms (donor-advised funds, giving circles, etc. – our gift) to achieve their philanthropic dreams. We need to make our audience (all too often our donors, stakeholders and supporters) the hero of our giving story, and make sure our stories reflect the values that we strive to practice on a daily basis.

How will you become a better storyteller, hakawati in Arabic, of your individual or organizational mission? Let CAAP know how we can help!

Related articles

Image courtesy Celeste

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *