Why Charities Need to Tell Stories

I went to a Christmas concert in a church in Waterford. full of glorious carols. There was no fee, but people were encouraged to donate to a charity, a daycare centre for children with special needs. During the interval, a representative of the centre spoke to us about the centre’s work.

The total collected that night was €2,600. But how much more might the charity have collected if he had told a story about using the centre had changed a child’s life.

Another massive charity campaign took place in Waterford in December. Local people will be familiar with the appeal to send two young boys, Ryan and Ethan, to America for treatment for a progressive, fatal disease.

Their story was told  through pictures. .

Ryan and Ethan's story wins hearts. Pic taken from Save Ryan and Ethan Facebook Page.
Ryan and Ethan’s story wins hearts. Pic taken from Save Ryan and Ethan Facebook Page.

With such a powerful story behind them, it was little wonder that almost all the fundraising events in the boys’ home town of Tramore were dedicated to them.Why Tell Your Story

Charities are competing for a smaller and smaller pot of money. When you tell the stories of people who benefit from your charity, people will feel the full impact of the work that you do and they’ll connect with that story. It also takes the ‘begging bowl’ aspect out of fundraising. When people see where their money goes, they’ll dig deep.

Your service users may be happy to give back to you by sharing the story of how they benefitted from your service. You can make their story the centre of a media campaign. Your local newspaper and radio station is a great place to start – people still love to hear stories of local heroism. And social media might as well have been built for charities. You can reach the very people who will benefit from your charity, through pictures, videos and words.

To hear more of Ryan and Ethan’s story, visit their website

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