Nov 15, 2011

Inspire on an individual level through storytelling

When it comes to storytelling, few know its power better than charities, non-profit organizations and cause marketers. We know storytelling helps establish an emotional connection with audiences, and inspires people to get involved.
With the advent of social media, some charitable organizations and fundraising efforts have taken a 180-degree turn. Rather than focus on the specific story of the cause, marketing efforts have been ramped up on the individual supporter or donor. The theory is that I am more likely to give to a cause if my friend Peter is raising the funds or conducting the bike ride or doing the walk. Hearing Peter’s story about why he is raising the funds and why he needs my help can be more powerful than a widespread blanket call for help from a worthy cause. The Livestrong website is a solid example of a community that inspires by sharing great stories.
You can think about it as “inspiration 2.0,” giving cause marketers the opportunity to transform their content into highly sharable, inspirational stories online.
It’s no easy task. It’s about getting more personal – moving beyond just an emotional element – and igniting inspiration in each donor. Generate buzz by engaging your audience and celebrating their stories. Move beyond the masses. Identify your individual supporters and recognize their ability to motivate their friends and peers.
Recognize the most powerful stories and provide an online environment for them to flourish. People want to be involved in the greater good, from millennials to boomers. Avoid the stale, impersonal approach, and welcome “inspiration 2.0” with open arms.