As social marketers who work with nonprofit organizations, Vanguard has seen time and time again that storytelling builds a closer connection between a group’s mission and its constituents. When target audiences better understand whom a group serves, they are more likely to volunteer, donate money, and form a personal bond with that organization’s brand.
We recently hosted a communications brainstorm on behalf of the Wanda Alston Foundation—the only housing program in Washington, DC dedicated solely to offering support services to homeless or at-risk LGBTQ youth. According to the National LGBTQ Force, approximately 20 to 40 percent of all homeless youth identify as LGBTQ (versus 6.4 percent of all young adults age 18 – 29).
During the brainstorm, we discussed ways that the organization could further leverage the personal story of Wanda Alston—she was a much-admired activist and advocate in both the recovery and LGBT movements in D.C.—or possibly explore the journeys of former Wanda Alston House residents who have gone on to live independently.
Here are a few other storytelling tips we shared with the organization. Other social marketers looking to integrate storytelling into their communications efforts may want to consider them as well:
- Personalize communications by using stories.
- Connect stories to the organization’s mission.
- Use the stories to demonstrate how the organization can have a positive impact on target audiences.
- Share the stories through audience-appropriate channels (such as an organization’s website, blog, Facebook page or other social media platforms).
You can learn more about the Wanda Alston Foundation by visiting its website or Facebook page. And we hope you’ll consider attending its Spring Fling Fundraiser on Thursday, March 12, from 6:30 to 9:00 pm at The Mansion on O Street. Tickets are still available!