Tuesday, February 26

The best fundraisers are those who can tell a story

At the heart of it all, as fundraisers, we are all storytellers.

You can't be a successful fundraiser if you can't tell a good story. It's that simple.

Here is a great video featuring Professor Brian Sturm from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He describes storytelling as a way of organizing information, conveying emotions, and building community.

When you think of his model of storytelling as altered state of consciousness (the story trance) that includes 16 portals to altered states... it really helps understand his thesis.

The video features three stories that are told to illustrate the theoretical model: Truth and Story; What happens when you really listen; and The stone cutter. Storytelling ethics and the need for trust and truth are discussed.

I encourage you to start the video and minimize the window while you are checking emails this week and just list to what Professor Sturm has to say.


Sandy Rees said...

I think I've known for a long time that stories are key to fundraising. It's a way to help people connect to an organization and it gets the message across so much more clearly.

CHILD-SHIELD-USA.com said...


Fundraising should not involve selling, it should involve telling, as in a valuable story.

Child-Shield-USA is the perfect story since it is in the news every day as more and more childred are abducted and sexually molested.

The statistics do the selling, our volunteers do the telling. Parents can relate to this the most, and when parents watch the DVD child abduction safety protection presentation, it becomes obvious what they must do, join us and share the story with all parents.

I have been involved in fundraising for years, and have seen every product and service known to the industry, yet not one is memorable, or offered much value. Selling is not what volunteers want to do, telling a story they are committed to is far more effective, so when you believe in what you are sharing with others, it becomes naturally more effective than selling candy bars, cookies or wrapping paper.

Success to all, Mike