Are you having a hard time hooking an audience with your nonprofit’s story? Maybe you’re stuck in a rut, pulling out the same statistics and case studies over and over again. Maybe you don’t even have a cause story. This is a definite hangup that nonprofits can fall into – and it can be a huge problem when it comes to attracting new donors (as well as retaining current ones!).
Here are three angles a nonprofit can take when it comes to storytelling, using one of the cutest causes possible: cat adoption!
1. Go Emotional
Take a look at the above video from the Animal Humane Society – once you get past the strangeness of seeing the cats “speak”, it’s easy to get caught up in the humanized voices and their pleas. Playing to your audience’s sympathy is a simple and smart way to get people to sit up and pay attention; there’s a reason why those sad humane society or humanitarian aid commercials work so well.
Our tip: Think about how your nonprofit’s story can tug on the heartstrings, and then make sure you have visuals aids (photos or videos) to bring it to life. You don’t necessarily need a huge budget (see below)!
2. Go Funny
Eliciting empathy not your strong suit? Maybe a funny take on your nonprofit’s story could be the key to finding and retaining donors. Check out the above, from Furkids Animal Rescue and Shelter – there’s a reason why the Huffington Post called it a “low budget masterpiece“. Made in only half an hour, this video actually went viral and went a long way in bringing about awareness for the Atlanta shelter.
Our tip: Don’t be afraid to stray from the serious – look to incorporate some irreverent humor in an attempt to capture the interest and attention of potential donors.
3. Engage in Real-Time
If you’re looking to bring in the eyeballs, look no further than the example above – the ‘Keeping Up With The Kattarshians’ livestream video from Iceland. Broadcasting company Nutiminn capitalized on the Internet’s love for all things feline and set up a live webcam to continuously broadcast the antics of some very cute kittens (all available for adoption!). Not only are they jumping on the reality TV train for a good cause, they’re demonstrating a strong awareness of what can catch fire with online audiences.
Our tip: Think about what kind of media your nonprofit could use to tell your story, then determine the best channel with which to publicize your story. You may have better luck with YouTube than Facebook, for example.
These are just three ways you can put a unique and creative spin on your nonprofit’s cause story – it’s important to have one, but it’s just as important that it resonates with your audience. (Cats optional.)