Storytelling is incredibly important in fundraising. Professional fundraising auctioneers help build stronger nonprofit organizations. They understand the single most important thing you can do during a nonprofit event: Tell a story.

Why people like stories

Storytelling in fundraising works because it makes us feel. The human brain is wired to think in story. Stories help us make decisions. In fundraising this is important because in order to make a decision, we need to feel something. People make many decisions in a day—what to eat for breakfast, whether or not to bring an umbrella when leaving the house, which route to take in the car. Each of these is decided based on a stories we tell ourselves.

These decisions are best made when the head and the heart can agree—when knowledge and our big heart emotions like love, empathy and compassion coalesce. Thus, when auction professionals and nonprofits are strategizing and planning content, it’s imperative to bring those two sides together.

How to tell stories

As fundraising professionals, benefit auctioneers are looking for mission moments—those stories that hit the head and the heart. A story is a tiny moment from an organization that demonstrates the impact on one person. Stories should be sharply focused and often times only about one person who benefits from the nonprofit’s mission.

The emotion storytellers evoke should be more about empathy than sympathy. Donors can hear sad stories and feel sorry for someone, but that doesn’t necessarily cause them to grab their wallets. Empathy on the other hand, helps donors understand and share the feelings of someone else. This is the key to telling the most impactful stories.

Not all donors are going to be able to relate to the story of one person. That’s why it’s important to put a face to the story and share exactly what it takes for the nonprofit to make an impact.

Storytelling year round

How you tell a story is critical, but so is when you tell a story. Poignant stories are not a one-night, one-method deal. Utilize videos, pictures, quotes, etc. via email, social media, websites, etc. to tell a story in advance of, during, and after a fundraising event.

Nonprofit fundraising stories are not about how to get more money, they’re about showcasing what money makes possible. Continuous messaging year round about how donors are making a difference, and how they can have an even bigger impact is more important than simply sharing goals.

Benefit auctioneers help nonprofits raise money through storytelling every day. What can a benefit auctioneer do for your fundraising efforts? Find an auctioneer today!

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