Our job as an executive director or any other nonprofit community leader boils down to our skill as a storyteller. Our job, simply put, is to tell compelling stories.
A compelling story captures the imagination. This is particularly obvious with donors. We have to offer a story about why our organization’s work is so important. Our storytelling has to make donors feel that they are part of that story, that they matter, and that their contributions will truly make a difference.
That it’s a story doesn’t mean it can’t be true; on the contrary, it needs to be both true and authentic or it probably won’t be very compelling.
And this is true with just about everyone else we interact with as well. Our volunteers are almost the same as your donors: they need to feel like they are valued and that their contributions matter to something really important that they care about. Our board and our staff all need to feel they are part of something vital. Every time we talk with a reporter, our storytelling skills are put to the test, just as they are when we build collaborations with partners and when we pleading our case before a judge.