Summary: in today’s podcast, Lori L. Jacobwith from Ignited Fundraising and Stephen Halasnik discuss how to use storytelling to maximize nonprofit funding. Organizations that have mastered the art of storytelling to project their cause to donors are getting more money to finance their mission effectively. 

How to Use Storytelling to Raise More Money

Storytelling is the most effective way to connect people to your nonprofit mission. Donors feel empathetic about your work when a story is well crafted to highlight your community project in a simplified and compelling manner. After all, people give their time, money, and advice to the organization they feel emotionally attached to. Moreover, sharing a story about how you impacted the lives of your nonprofit projects is critical in generating more funds.

What’s more, storytelling is the vehicle to transmit the overall goal of your nonprofit’s project to the public. Today, nonprofit storytelling can be done in a wide array of mediums. For instance, you can tell your nonprofits’ stories through vistorytelling for nonprofit fundraisingdeo, social media, blogs, and more. More so, there are a lot of different stories to share, including community stories, staff stories, founders’ stories, and above all, money stories. Knowing the most effective way of putting these stories across your donors is a great way of increasing your nonprofit fundraising.

However, making your story resonate with your audience is essential for fundraising. An authentic story is orchestrated by the diligent collection and systemization of data concerning your nonprofit’s project

Start with Data Collection 

The storytelling process begins with identifying people who stand out and have benefited from your organization. Next, learn their names and some of the characteristics of their personality. In addition, note all the exact results those people got from your nonprofits and make a list of the changes those people experience as a result of your nonprofit’s intervention. With data collection, you will be able to highlight what life was like before your organization intervened, what happened after your nonprofits got involved with these people, and what life is at present. 

Share Authentic Stories

Every nonprofit should tell real stories. While storytelling is a powerful tool for nonprofit fundraising, telling stories that are not authentic can severely hamper nonprofits’ fundraising objectives. The authenticity of a story is essential, and it can resonate with people. As a nonprofit, telling the truth should be what your organization always stands by. Nonprofit storytelling is about making people understand the purpose behind its mission. The organization’s goal should closely align with the stories it shares to appear convincing to donors.

Establish Relationship with Storytelling

Nonprofit fundraising storytelling should not concentrate on getting more money in the first place; it should subtly showcase what money can make possible. Storytelling establishes an emotional relationship with those interested in donating or volunteering to your nonprofit cause. In other words, when constituents see a nonprofit’s story that arouses emotions in them, they feel drawn to it, and when constituents are drawn in, they feel connected. That relationship grows stronger as they learn more about your nonprofit’s mission.

Tell Relevant Stories

Nonprofit storytelling should be relevant to the target audience. Put differently; nonprofit stories should be crafted to factor in what is currently obtainable that donors are interested in. In other words, the way people told their stories 5 to 10 years to get funding may not be relevant for why a nonprofit needs funding today. On the other hand, donors will be attracted to a nonprofit cause if they realize that the work pertains to current issues that need to be solved. For instance, a nonprofit story that promotes green energy will resonate more with people than the one canvasses for carbon at present. 


Storytelling is a powerful tool when it comes to nonprofit fundraising. Plus, storytelling is how nonprofits put forward their great idea before donors generate interest and maximize funding. Knowing how to craft a compelling story that resonates with your donors is an excellent way of attracting many donors that might share with your nonprofit cause. 

More About Our Guest

Lori L. Jacobwith is a nationally-recognized fundraising culture change expert and master storyteller who has been named one of America’s Top 25 Fundraising Experts. She has delivered more than 10,000 coaching and training sessions that have helped nonprofit organizations raise more than $500 million dollars from individual donors. Lori helps staff and board members share their stories powerfully and effectively to cause donors to give more. With a BA in Political Science and Speech Communications from the University of Minnesota, Lori also has training from Indiana University’s FundRaising School and is a longtime member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

More About the Host 

Stephen Halasnik is the host of the popular, The Nonprofit MBA Podcast. The Nonprofit MBA podcast’s purpose is to help nonprofit leaders. Stephen is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Financing Solutions, a leading provider of Lines of Credit to nonprofits and small businesses. Stephen is a best-selling Amazon author and is considered a leading authority on building great, purpose-driven businesses. Stephen lives in New Jersey with his wife, Gina. Mr. Halasnik’s number one purpose is raising his two boys, Michael and Maxwell, to be good men.