Determine Your Organization Story With 4 Questions
Today we are talking about your organization story. This includes both the importance of story in general as well as four questions that will help you understand (and create) your own organization story.
Why An Organization Story Is So Important
It’s important to first understand why organization stories are so essential. Why should your organization take the time to create one, and why should you prioritize injecting it into as many places as possible?
The importance of organization stories all comes down to one thing: people connect to stories.
Stories have a number of positive effects for your organization.
- People pay attention to what you have to say. The right story is captivating and grabs the attention of potential donors. This makes it easier to build a bigger audience and amplify your message to more people.
- You receive more donations. This is not only due to the bigger audience you build, but the emotional connection you create with your story. A story makes it easier to explain your mission in a captivating way. The result? People become more connected to your organization and are more interested in contributing to your cause.
- It’s easier to create a cohesive marketing strategy. If you have one central story your organization tells, creating marketing materials becomes much easier. This includes the content you make, the kind of messaging you use across platforms, and the communication style you use with donors.
As for how you make your own organization story?
Here are four questions you should reflect on to make the process easier.
Your Organization Story: 4 Questions To Ask
1) How did your organization start?
This is the obvious starting point. What is the “origin story” of your organization? Who founded it, when did they do it, and what were the circumstances surrounding the organization’s founding?
If you have been around a while but still haven’t gotten an organization’s story down on paper, these questions might be hard to answer. Still, even if your organization is relatively young, these are details that are often not taken seriously enough. This is the value of speaking directly with the founders. They will be able to give you answers to these questions, which makes establishing an organization story that much easier.
2) What problem does your organization solve?
This isn’t always such an obvious answer. It’s important here to remember that an organization can (and often does) solve more than one problem. How do you narrow everything down into one convenient organization story?
One important tip in answering this question: what effect does your organization have in the lives of the people that you help? This can help you be more specific in your thought process. Check out our ultimate guide to SEO for more specific tips!
3) What emotional connection do your founders have to the cause?
Now that you’ve thought about the initial “founding story” as well as the specific problem(s) you solve, it’s time to bring emotion into the story. Do your founders have a personal stake in the problems that the organization solves? This is usually the case…otherwise they wouldn’t have founded the organization in the first place!
Remember – people connect to stories because of the emotions the stories make them feel. This “emotional connection” of your founders is often the same connection that donors will have. Clearly communicate this and you are not only more likely to clarify a good organization’s story – but you will drive more donations, as well.
4) How is your organization different from others?
Let’s be honest: unless your organization is doing something truly revolutionary, odds are there are at least a few organizations out there that do the same thing. They solve the same problem and likely appeal to the same kind of donor.
It’s important to differentiate yourself somehow – and almost certainly, there is something that makes your organization different. So what is it? This can be difficult to pinpoint, but it’s worth thinking about. This will make your organization stand out more than anything else.
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