Storytelling for NGO’s- Part One


Your story is powerful. Tell it!

Civil society organizations all have a powerful tool in the stories that they are able to tell about their journey to achieving their social mission. But just how do you tell a compelling story to rally people around your cause?

Storytelling is an art. It takes careful consideration and creativity to be able to relate a story in a way that tugs at the heartstrings of supporters or on the pockets of donors. Before you type one word or post a picture, you must develop a detailed plan to outline your NGO’s storytelling strategy. This principal step will ensure your efforts are effective, consistent, and successful.


Begin planning your story by asking and answering the following questions:

What story do I want to tell?

There are endless stories about your NGO that you can choose from. NGO’s can share stories about their humble beginnings, volunteer contributions or even a story about the current challenges that you may be facing.

Who is telling the story?

Your NGO’s story can be told from various perspectives. It can be told by management or staff, volunteers and even from the perspective of those you have helped.

Why is the story being told?

Decide what you want to gain from sharing your story. Is it that you want more supporters, are you looking to attract more donors or is it just to increase your advocacy efforts?

How do I want people to feel after viewing my NGO’s story?

The way you want people to feel will drive your script, pictures, videos, and scenes being used in your story. If you want people to feel inspired, outraged, sad or empowered by your story use media that would do just that.

What do I want people to do after seeing my NGO’s story?

Be action-oriented. The choice of your call to action will depend on the goal of your NGO. Some examples of common call to actions include Donate, Volunteer, Advocate, Become a Member or Subscribe.

Who are the people in the story?

Characters are a great way to relate to your audience. Therefore, the people being featured in your story must be relatable and effectively reinforce the above-identified elements.

Now that you have a grasp of the storytelling basics be sure to share your storytelling planning experience with us in the comment section below. Look out for Part 2 of this topic in our next blog post.


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