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Board Storytelling Tips

Board members make decisions to be part of a nonprofit’s leadership because they believe in the organization and want to use their skills to make a difference. But can they communicate this commitment in a way that brings other donors and supporters along on the journey?

Fundraising consultant Gail Perry of Fired-Up Fundraising recommends some new strategies for ensuring that members of a nonprofit’s board of directors can tell a compelling story.

Perry distilled the key message into five questions that board members should be able to answer in a succinct, yet persuasive way. Some of these important questions included:

  • Why is the cause important personally? Sometimes in the course of doing the day-to-day work, individuals forget what brought them there in the first place. Board members should take time to recall their personal motivation for joining the organization and be able to explain that in 30 seconds or less.
  • Why should donors care? A board member needs to understand not only why the mission is important, but also how to explain it in a way that makes it matter to others.
  • If this nonprofit achieved its goals, how would the world be different? This is the ultimate extension of the “why donors should care” question. What is the real potential benefit this nonprofit can bring to the world?

For more on Perry’s strategies for energizing the board’s stories and exercises to refine these tales, read “Training Board Members in Storytelling — Unleash Their Energy and Commitment.

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