Building Your Content Pillars to Tell a Dynamic Story and Transform Your Fundraising
Your organization has a powerful story to share. Learn how you can make it more impactful.
Categories: Expert Webcast
Building Your Content Pillars to Tell a Dynamic Story and Transform Your Fundraising TranscriptPrint Transcript
All right, welcome, everyone. Donna, are you going to kick us off? Or do you want me to dive right in?
Well, I’m gonna just introduce you and then you can do your thing. My name is Donna Mitchell. I’m a Read More
All right, welcome, everyone. Donna, are you going to kick us off? Or do you want me to dive right in?
Well, I’m gonna just introduce you and then you can do your thing. My name is Donna Mitchell. I’m a training specialist here at DonorPerfect. We’re here with Mallory Erickson. Absolutely brilliant. If you’ve met Mallory before, you know, you are in for a treat, if you haven’t, you certainly are. And so I hope that you will get a great deal out of this information that she’s sharing with us today. Mallory is going to tell you more about her own story, but I’m going to turn it over to her so she can begin the webinar. Thank you so much, Mallory.
Oh, thank you, Donna, I’m so excited to be here with all of you guys today. And to really get a chance to do something super unique, which is this workshop. So I’m going to be presenting some material and some repeat material from the community conference in order for folks who didn’t get to come to that to be up to speed and then really, we’re gonna get to dig in together. And also, here’s what I’ll say before we dive in. Even if you came to the community conference, you want to pay attention to this material, even if you’re like, Oh, I’ve seen it before, because this is the type of stuff that you need to see seven or eight times until it becomes more of that automatic practice for you. So let’s dive in. Also, one other thing I want to say before we dive in is two quick things. One is that because this is a workshop, and I’m going to be giving you actual feedback on your own work, there are going to be some sort of lols in conversation for a moment as maybe you’re submitting something for me to review, it’s going to be like we’re live and in more of a workshop setting. So one just sort of asking for your patience around all that and for your participation. So I’m going to be asking you to participate in the chat as we go along this whole time. But just know that your participation, your feedback, your questions, that’s really going to help make today as meaningful and impactful as possible. We want you to be walking away with your story dialed so. Okay, let’s dive in and laugh about that. Um, if you don’t already know who I am, my name is Mallory Erickson. I’m the creator of the power partners formula, the host of what the fundraising and there’s little bit of information about me if you want to connect with me later, like so many of you here today, I became an accidental fundraiser as a nonprofit executive director, I started to get promoted up through the ranks first in a managing director role, and then an executive director role. And with that came big fundraising expectations. And at first I imagined, you know, consistent fundraising success that I was gonna be this empowered and confident leader, I was never going to work more than 40 hours a week, right? I was going to have all these donors coming to me. But the reality was a little bit more like this, right, I felt that I had to put on this presentation everywhere, that everything was all buttoned up and perfect. And I have the perfect answers to everything. But really deep down every day was a constant hustle. And I was burnt out, I was overwhelmed. I was working way too much. Do you know a lot about my story. You know, I also develop chronic pain as a result. And I really got to this breaking point in my career where I didn’t know if I could keep going if I could stay inside the nonprofit sector if this was going to be my day to day reality. And so I gave up, which actually meant that I just switched organizations because I had this whole story that it was the organization’s fault that I was feeling that way. But something what I found was that, at first, it was a little bit better, right? The newness sort of gave me this perception that things were better. But then the same thing happened again. And I got to this moment where I was sitting there like clicking refresh on my email after I’d probably sent out like 50 donor emails. And I just thought to myself, you know, a year from now, I cannot be doing this anymore. Like I either need a thriving nonprofit where fundraising is easier, less stressful, and I don’t feel so awkward all the time. Or maybe it’s time for me to leave the nonprofit sector. And I really didn’t want to leave the nonprofit sector. So I needed to create a reliable fundraising method with the tiny bit of extra time I could sacrifice right? So immediately self critic went wild. How on earth could I do this? I already have no extra time. But I decided to really approach things differently. I got certified as an executive coach, trained in habit and behavior change, trained in Design Thinking principles. And those frameworks really came together for me to fundamentally change the way that I was showing up is a fundraiser that I was doing fundraising really allowed me to synthesize the art and science of fundraising in a powerful way. I got seven donor meetings in one week. It was an 87% return rate on My outreach that ultimately led to over $450,000. And that’s really how my work today was born, right. That’s called the power partners method. So that was a little bit more of my story than I typically tell on a webinar. But I wanted to tell it to you today, because I wanted to show you a story arc. And I want to explain why I started today with my story, right? So there are a few different reasons why we tell stories, to give context, why am I here with you today to elicit emotion? Maybe you felt connected to me, because a part of my story is a part of your story, too, right? You understand my frustration? You understand my hopes and dreams? You understand my pain points, right? It was to build connections, familiarity? Trust, right? My guess is if you didn’t know who I was before, and I say this to folks all the time. You know, they’re asking me questions after 20 minutes together being really vulnerable with me. And I think about the myth we have in our sector, a lot of the time around, it takes so long to build trust 12 to 18 months to build the major donor relationship. It doesn’t have to, but we have to let people in if we want to build trust faster. If you’re feeling right now with me that you already have a fair amount of trust for me why I’m here why I want to talk to you about this today. That’s because of the story that I just told you. So stories are incredibly, incredibly powerful. What is an impact story. So an impact story uses a narrative to make an emotional connection between our audience and the incredible work that you do, right. So good impact stories actually create a real genuine connection, because they follow what’s called a dramatic arc, and the dramatic arc, and we’re going to go into each pillar of this today for your specific organization. Each piece of this arc actually changes our brain by producing two chemical reactions, cortisol, which focuses our attention on something this happens when we’re making people problem aware, we’re creating some level of distress, Cortisol is released in our brain. And then oxytocin, which is responsible for care, connection, empathy, when we follow a dramatic arc, both of those hormones both of those chemicals are being released in our brain. And actually, the amount that people give has been scientifically studied to be related to the amount of oxytocin released, right. So this is not just see just some theory around storytelling, right, or some opinion we have about the power of storytelling. This is science backed research around the way that stories change us. So this is my favorite quote of all time, I use it in a lot of my work, right, which is people like us do things like this. This is a Seth Godin quote. And what this shows us is that our donors are deciding and our prospective donors are making a decision. Do people like me do things like this? Do people like me give to organizations like this? Do people like me volunteer for programs like this? Do people like me invite people to this gala event, right? Every decision we make in our lives, what we buy, where we go where we live? We’re always answering this question. People like us do things like this, people like me live in cities like this, people like me wear clothes like this, or views facewash like this, or don’t drive that type of car, right? We’re constantly building our actions around our identity. What’s so critical about this to understand for all of you is that donors have to feel themselves reflected in your story, in order to answer this question for them, do people like me do things like this? I don’t know. But your story in the story you tell is going to help answer that question for me. And that’s why nonprofit storytelling is such a critical part of donor engagement, whether it’s a first time donor or around donor retention. That story is what continually reminds people, they’re in the right place, or they’re in the wrong place. And we’ll talk about this a little bit more later. But being able to help people know they’re in the wrong place is actually just as important. Because once somebody knows they’re in the wrong place. That’s how you can make sure that people know they’re in the right place. Right, when we try to be the right place for everyone. We’re the right place for no one. So we’ll talk about that a little bit a little bit later. But these are the impact story content pillars. Let me quit set.
So, like I was saying that dramatic arc, that piece that really changes the chemicals in our brain. They’re related to these five story content pillars, and this is what we’re going to be digging into and giving feedback around today. The exposition character development setting Right. And so that might be an individual example inside your organization of beneficiary. It might be you and your story. It might be your organization’s founding story, right? It’s the character development, who’s the Who’s the person we’re following along on this journey on this dramatic arc, right? Who’s the individual that we’re envisioning, as we’re hearing this story, then there’s the conflict and the core problem. So the really the usually like the system’s issue that is impacting this character, this person in the story, right, this core issue in society that they’ve realized that they’ve come up against right, then we go into rising challenges, what are all the challenges this individual faces, right with the current status quo? Again, that could be what a beneficiary is being challenged with, in relation to the services that you provide? Or it might be the challenges you faced building and starting your organization, right, or getting traction around a program, right? It’s, but there’s that rising action? Then there’s the climax, the turning point, right? What was the moment? What was the thing? What was the intervention? What was the program that started to change things, and that builds towards the revenue, the resolution, right. And that’s the tangible outcome of the work, right. And again, that can be based in the organization based in your story based in the story of the beneficiary that you’re telling. Okay, I’m going to actually pause for a second because this is a workshop, the thing that’s so special about this is that you can ask me questions along the way. So I’m gonna just pause and say, throw in the chat, if you have any questions so far, and I will, and I’ll answer them in the next little bit. And if you don’t, if you’re like, No Mallory, we’re just all in and ready to roll, keep going. That’s great, too. But I do want to encourage you to throw things in the chat or I have the questions open on my computer too, because I know that I’m on the screen, and you’re not, but we are in this together. And we’re going to be moving through this con con tent together. Okay, I don’t see anything right now. But I’ll keep watching. Alright, if you have not been to one of my workshops before, then this might be new for you. But this is what we’re looking at right now is the cognitive behavior loop. And this is so important, because before we get into the actual words you’re using in your content pillars, we need to talk about all of the different ways that story is communicated, right. So too often in the nonprofit sector, we think about what’s the exact right thing for me to say here, what’s the exact right word for me to use. And it’s not that words aren’t important at all. But research demonstrates that actually, like with verbal communication, people only remember like nine to 15%, there’s some different studies of the words we actually say, what they remember is how they feel right? And how they feel has to do with tone, body language, energy, right. And so it’s super important when we’re talking about delivering high impact stories, that you could walk away with the most buttoned up story in the world. But if you don’t understand what we’re going to talk about right now, it could really impact the impact of that story when you tell it. So what is the cognitive behavior loop, the cognitive behavior loop are the beliefs, the understanding that the beliefs and thoughts that we hold, inform how we feel, and then ultimately how we show up and how we show up impacts our results. So let me say that, again, the beliefs and thoughts that we hold, impact how we feel, and then ultimately how we show up, right? And sometimes our awareness around the cognitive behavior loop starts with an emotion and our awareness around an emotion. So let me give you an example. You’re sitting at your computer and you’re feeling a little anxious. And you check in with yourself, like why am I feeling so anxious and stressed right now? Oh, because I really don’t want to send that donor email to that person. Okay, why don’t you want to send that donor email to that person? Oh, because I think they might be mad at me because I emailed them two weeks ago, and they’re gonna think I’m pounding them that those beliefs and thoughts around hounding that donor that’s leading to how you feel in the moment, and it’s holding you back likely from sending that email to that donor and then ultimately impacting your results. And starting to actually bring awareness around this you’re able to challenge a little bit around whether or not that belief or that thought is absolutely definitely true. The reality is, is that most of the thoughts and the beliefs we hear in our head around fundraising are self critic beliefs or impostor syndrome beliefs. They hold us back from taking the next right fundraising action, even though it’s not true, right? Why would a person be mad at you if you send a friendly email, following up saying, I know it’s such a busy time? I wasn’t sure if you saw that email two weeks ago, I just want to check in again, is that the type of email that’s really going to make someone mad? Probably not, unless there’s something else going on with that relationship, right. But when we get so worried about that, and we let those thoughts and beliefs fester without challenging them without even having an awareness of them, they really hold us back from taking the action that we want to take. And I want to say one other thing about this before we move on to like the energy piece of this. So a lot of times people will say to me, Mallory, is it bad to do blank? They’ll be like, Is it bad to watch five hours of Netflix? And my question is always like, Well, how do you feel after five hours of Netflix? Do you feel refreshed and inspired and creative and excited? Does that make you want to jump into life with you know, energy, then maybe those five hours of Netflix are good for you? Right? There’s no, there’s no judgment, about five hours Netflix. But if you finish five hours Netflix and you’re stressed and anxious and ruminating on all the things you didn’t do, and you don’t sleep well, okay, maybe there’s something to look at there. So that action alone, we’d spend so much time trying to judge the action alone. But we actually really need to take it a step further and understand the energy behind the action, because that’s what reveals the true way that we feel and the underlying thoughts and beliefs that might be holding us back. Okay, so let’s talk about energy. And I will say like, if the word energy doesn’t resonate with you, you can think about these as different types of leadership styles. But this is not energy in some kind of woowoo sense, like these are scientific principles. And for the purposes of this conversation, we’re going to be talking about two types of energy, something called catabolic energy and anabolic energy. So catabolic energy is this draining, resisting contracting energy, right, there’s a lot of judgment and catabolic thinking very black and white. We don’t feel like we have very many opportunities available for us, we get a lot of tunnel vision and catabolic energy. Anabolic energy, on the other hand, is constructive, expanding, fueling healing. It’s where we think about, you know, all the different Win Win opportunities available for us, we’re really creative and anabolic energy. And I think about it a lot like this, like catabolic energy is that tunnel vision. And anabolic energy is a prism of opportunities. We’re gonna talk about the different levels of anabolic and catabolic energy. But these are really important energies to understand. Because when they’re integrated with your storytelling, the words might be the same. But the feelings behind the words are going to be dramatically different, particularly when you’re telling your story verbally, right, I could be giving this presentation and saying all these same words. But I could be talking like this. And I could tell you that, you know, it’s been a really hard time over here. And but what I want you to understand is that, you know, the way that you show up really matters. And I hope you’re taking that seriously. How different did that feel than the way I’ve been talking to you right? There was nothing wrong with the words I just said, but probably felt totally, totally different to you. So I want you to reflect on this for a quick second, I want you to think about when you most recently experienced catabolic energy after hearing a story. So these two energy levels are really important, both from the perspective of you as a storyteller, but also to think about the energy that gets absorbed when people are hearing a story. So I want you to recall when you most recently experienced catabolic energy after hearing a story. What was the experience? Like? What did this energy feel like? How do you think it might have influenced your sort of performance or how you showed up? And remember catabolic energy is that sort of depleting defeating energy? Just take a moment, give yourself that self reflection and then I want you to think about it in terms of anabolic energy. Recall when you most recently experienced anabolic energy after hearing a story, what was that experience? Like? What did that energy feel like? And how did it influence you?
No, I don’t have this quote on a slide but like energy attracts like energy. So if we want our donors or perspective donors to feel anabolic energy after hearing our story or reading our story, then we need to write it from that place. And I want to be clear about something there are. So we’re going to talk really quickly about these seven styles of fundraising that are a different combination of anabolic and catabolic energy at these different levels. But I want to say like, there’s a way to fundraise. From all styles of fundraising, you can fundraise from complete catabolic energy, we see it all the time, right? We see a ton of martyrdom, guilt, shame in fundraising all the time. Right? That’s some level one, fundraising. Level two, we see anger in fundraising all the time, politically, with political fundraising, right, there’s a ton of anger there. So what I don’t want to say is that it’s not possible to fundraise from these different levels, you can fundraise from all these levels, but your results are going to be really different, especially when we’re talking about long term sustainable donors that feel a part of your community, catabolic energy might get you that one time guilt or favor gift. But those are not your power partners. Those are not the people who are people like us do things like this, those are people who are looking for quick ways maybe to like kind of get out escape out of guilt, or something that came up from them from the content, that’s really different. Okay. So when we’re thinking about the stories that we’re telling the the combinations of the energies that we’re showing up with are super, super important. So I want to give you a few examples of this. And I promise we’re gonna dive in to the specific content pillars. But I want to make sure that as you learn those content pillars, you understand that we don’t get so hung up on the words. And I know, that’s one thing that’s going to be a little bit hard about the feedback today, right is I’m not going to get to hear your voice when I see your pillars. But I really want to make sure you don’t leave today without understanding how important it is the way that you’re telling these stories. Okay, so the seven styles of fundraising about certified as an executive coach through an organization called AIPAC, these are called the seven levels of leadership in their in their sort of structure. This assessment has been recognized in Forbes as like an incredibly important assessment for executives, and I’ve converted it into the seven styles of fundraising and you’re gonna see why. So there are these seven levels. So level one, which is that highly catabolic energy, it’s where a lot of martyrdom, a lot of victimhood lives, we feel lost lack of choice, right? A lot of fear scarcity mindset. So that can sound in a fundraising appeal like this. We know there’s a lot going on right now. And we really wish you cared more about this. We are so desperate and we can’t keep doing this. If you can’t show up for us, too. That’s a level one, fundraising call to action, right? Level two might sound something like this. We can’t believe you would do blank, blank, blank, you are part of the problem unless you blank, right. Level two is anger, combativeness, resisting, fighting. Again, we see this sometimes in fundraising, right? It doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. It doesn’t mean sometimes it doesn’t get you some quick bait clicks and money, but is not sustainable is not sustainable. Level three is rationalizing. We say a lot of like, I’m fine. And level three, right? We’re coping, Everything’s fine. Everything’s fine. From a fundraising perspective, that might sound like you know, rationalizing and sort of putting it off. We know it’s a really hard time. But maybe in the next 30 days, we could think about doing that thing. Or we know it’s just it’s really busy right now. Right? So maybe later we’ll do this thing. So that’s how it can sound internally, externally. With partners. It could be something like maybe you would just consider doing blank, right kind of like passive rationalizing, not being super direct. And our asks, level four is care compassion service to others. It’s a real helper energy, you can feel we’re starting to get up into more of that anabolic energy. That might sound more like, you know, we hope you’re doing okay, we hope this you know, we know the hits keep coming and like us, you care deeply about many causes, right? Your sort of empathy, recognizing their perspective, that’s a real sort of style for storytelling style. Style five, now we’re really getting up into that anabolic energy is really opportunity focus, Win Win solution focused and that might sound something like we know things are hard right now and that’s exactly why we’re reaching out today. Together we can simultaneously right Can you can you hear that difference or see that difference? Right from even from law Vote and style four to style five, right? It’s like that like empathy helper. But style five, once you start to get up there, it’s like, yeah, we know this is hard. And that’s exactly why we’re here. And we know that’s exactly why you want to be here too, because of this moment, because of this time, because of what we can do together right now. Right? So you can see how how that feeling would change in the donor, right? The way they hear that story starts to change, the more anabolic it is. level six is intuition, creative genius. That’s where more the visionary comes in. Right? That might sound something like when things get hard, we find hope, through community and connection coming together is more important than ever, right? You start to see a little bit more of that, like Unity piece there. And then level seven is like absolute passion, non judgement, oneness, you know, and let me tell you, people are not really fundraising up in level seven. And people are not really like that’s like enlightenment, okay, so people are not like existing their day to day up and level seven, right? Because it would sound something like this, you can give or not, I surrender to the process. But let me tell you something, while I know you’re not going to hit your fundraising numbers with that kind of energy, there are moments in your fundraising where you need to surrender, because the grip that you’re holding on something is getting in the way of your ability to take action. So what I say to my clients all the time is not going to live up in level seven, but you didn’t have moments of it, you’d have moments of surrender moments of fearlessness. And so you’re gonna get all these slides. And I just encourage you to start to play or look at some of your own copy. Like, what did your last newsletter? What energy level would you guess your last newsletter had? Right? What did your last fundraising appeal had, like, I’ll look at a fundraising PL and I can see start to see the levels show up in there. And that’s going to give you a good idea of how you’re telling your story and how people are feeling when they’re hearing your story. Okay. So, we’re going to start to go into writing your 60/62 impact story specifically right now, I know there have been a lot of comments coming in in the chat. Donna, do you think there’s anything we should answer? Before we go we move into this piece?
Thanks, Valerie. There are a lot of questions with regard to specifics to people’s organizations and the type of organizations that they’re doing. So we might want to address those later. A lot of them I think you’re going to be able to cover here, but I think we can do a look back afterward to kind of see if we’ve been able to help folks.
Okay, perfect. Okay, so and I’m seeing some of the questions in the chat around like, how do you use the Dramatic Art in an authentic way instead of a super manipulative way, we’re going to be talking about that the arts are just the pieces of the story. There’s no and and it’s the tool, right? So the tool can be used in manipulative ways it can be used in overdramatic ways, that’s not what we’re going to be talking about here, you’re going to see that it’s a tool that can also be used in total alignment with the way you want to talk about your story. And you want to talk about your organization. And it’s a tool and you just saw me use it with my professional trajectory, right. So I saw there was a question about how to do it with like an advocacy based instead of direct service organization, I just did it with a for profit, small business, right? Like we can do this with everything. It’s just about really starting to understand then who the characters are, what the what the core problems are, what the conflicts are. And those will be different for each of your organizations. But we’re going to talk about and give you some time to play around with adapting each of those. Okay, does that sound good? All right. Okay, well, I love it. I tell you even just seeing the number of questions makes me so happy because your guys participation is such an important part of this. And so I hope you’ll share your stories and your attempts at these pillars as we move through this too, because this is a safe space and a judgment free zone and really just an opportunity for all of us to get better every day. I do this in my own work. I have my own coaches around coffee and and these pieces. And so it’s always great to get outside perspectives and eyes on things. And I know we’re often looking for that in the nonprofit space. And so this is a really cool opportunity to do it. Okay, so again, since we were talking a little bit about the seven styles of fundraising and the catabolic, anabolic energy, the cognitive behavior loop, I want to just refresh our memory on the five pillars that we’re going to be going through today. So, exposition and character development, conflict core Problem, rising action challenges potential solutions, climax turning point and then resolution, right. And these are going to be different for each of you. But we’re going to talk about how to adapt it to your organization. Before we move into the five, I thought it would be really helpful to sort of show you some common mistakes that happen. So something I talked about a little bit more in the, in the community. Session webinar session was about how like, one of the ways in which people don’t connect to our stories often is because they aren’t, we aren’t using that sort of like empathy based donor based lens through the different pillars. So we’re going to talk about sort of, you know how to do that in a minute. But I also wanted to highlight that there are some really common mistakes that also don’t allow people to connect with your story in a really strong way. So one is that the audience is too broad. So the communication gets really general, right? This is again, like if you’re for everybody, you’re for nobody, right? So that’s one thing we see too much, right? And so if you’re saying, like, why want my story to resonate with everybody, I’m gonna really push you to be more specific than that, like, who are the people like us that do things like this right? Number two, the story doesn’t resolve. So it leaves the audience in a state of overwhelm, you know, followed by a seat with a call to action. So that would be something like taking things to that sort of like Pinnacle climax, and then just being like, so you better give because this is this hardship, right. And again, sometimes that can inspire immediate giving around crisis, or, you know, guilt, or shame or fear, those types of things. But we’re talking about how to build long term sustainable partnerships with your donors. And that requires that you actually resolve that story arc. So we’ll talk about that. And my guess is some of you, when I had you do the catabolic reflection, you might have thought of a story that didn’t resolve because that actually is an example of when we feel catabolic energy when the story doesn’t resolve, and we feel a little bit sort of jolted by it, and we’re left down there and catabolic energy, instead of being oops, instead of being brought up sorry about that, you guys, I’m the third one is that we get too many details about structure and logistics. And you guys, can I tell you how guilty I was of this holy moly, I ran, I ran a service learning program for many years that operated in the US Nicaragua, and Ecuador is a really unique program model. And I was obsessed with the program model. And so I told everybody, every little detail about why we were different than other programs like this, and nobody cared. And nobody even really understood what I was saying, because they didn’t have all of the context that I had, right and comparing it to all these different ways of doing things. So we get super, like granular and our detail about the logistics, but our program runs from two to 5pm, four days a week, but on Fridays, right? It’s like, no, nobody that like that doesn’t help people actually connect to the story. If they want to know those things about your program, they’ll ask a follow up question, but that’s not the stories job. And then the last common mistake that I see is using way too much jargon. And this makes the story also unrelatable. And I would say this is another thing that that I’m often like have been guilty of in my past and leading organizations, right? We want to sound like we know what we’re doing. We want to sound like we’re thought leaders in the space but how you would speak on a panel to other thought leaders or other changemakers in that interest area is not how you should be speaking to your community audience about the issue area, right? They want to they want to feel seen and a part of it and like you’re speaking to them. When we use language too much jargon or language that feels inaccessible. Not only is there actually like an equity issue there around to our community becomes, but it alienates people. It’s not how people connect, right, they want to connect, and they want to see writing in a way that you would talk. And so that’s the other thing. We’re gonna be talking about our stories today and we’re gonna be writing it out. But the way you do this, in speaking versus writing won’t be so dramatically different. Like my goal is that you’re writing things the way you would say them because that’s what’s going to allow people to really hear it and internalize it and connect the way you would in person. Okay, I want to show you very specifically two of these common mistakes and how you would ship them Okay, so the First one is building belonging through audience specificity. Right? So I said that thing about trying to be for everyone worked for no one. So sometimes the way that comes out in story copy is something like this. Everyone wants to see kids succeed? Well, that’s probably true. But everyone wants to see kids succeed pretty differently, right? So if I’m reading ever wants to see kids succeed, I have no idea if I’m in that group or not, I don’t know, how do you want kids to succeed? Like, I don’t know that that’s me. Right? You’re like, yeah, that’s, that’s true. But like, I don’t feel a part of something specific there. Right? Because the audience is incredibly broad. So something different would be something like this. Community members, like you see beyond the typical academic needs of students, you understand that without free and reduced lunch? Many of our students won’t dot dot that. Do you see that difference in specificity? Right? Like people like us who are people like us, you are people who see beyond the typical academic needs of students, you are people who understand the impact of free and reduced lunch, those people do things like this. And if you’re not those people, that is also okay, because there are gonna be other education organizations that are for you. Right, but this one, this one is for people like this. Right? So this specificity around audience really makes a huge difference. Here’s another shift example.
Engage with surprising details versus details about the logistics of your program. Right. So as I kind of started this one before, but here are things we see a lot in, in storytelling copy. Or in when I hear people speak about this, right, the program operates in partnership with public schools, which involves a campus director running a four day a week program from two to 5pm. The program starts with everyone coming to the cafeteria for a check in followed by an hour of academic support followed by right we start to go into this whole thing about what it looks like. Here’s how you would do it in a way where you’re highlighting surprising details that connect with the audience, instead of getting bogged down in logistics. Did you know that public middle schools in Austin, by the way, I made all this up? So please do not hold me to these words. These are just example. Did you know that public middle schools in Austin only have funding to stay open to 1:30pm? Can you imagine what 50,000 middle schoolers are doing around the city between 130 and 5pm? Our organization transforms that empty time block into a time for these students to have community academic support, leadership opportunities, and more. Right, how different think about how different you can connect with something like that. Then the image the like program image, I was really trying to outline for you. Maybe you could visualize the cafeteria and those kids, but you still connected to it. Right? Did it surprise you? Did it hook you? Did it feel like it connected to something that you might be worried about? Like, are you really worried about what they’re doing at 3pm? In that first one? Probably not. But you’re probably a little bit more worried about it in that second one. Right. So that’s a way to sort of like create connection and visualization, but without details that are that are too specific and sort of lose people because they don’t have any type of emotional connection. Okay. Okay. So, are we ready to move into pillar one? John, what do you think? Is there anything we should we should go through? Before we do that?
I think someone did have a question about this in the chat to the point of audience being too broad, would you say people living on low or modest incomes, or people living in poverty too broad?
And is that related to the sorry, the audience I’m talking about is like the prospective donor or the donor audience. So I think what it would depend on but this sounds like maybe it’s a question about who’s being served, or maybe I don’t understand that correctly. I think if you’re reaching out to an audience, like a donor audience, who are also people who are experiencing poverty or in low and modest incomes, I would identify other descriptors of your of that community, right, because I can’t imagine that whole audience necessarily is going to be interested in in your work, but some of them will be and why what those who are going to be interested in your work, why are they interested in your work? Who are the people like us? Does that help us Got helpful?
I think so it sounded good to me. I’m hoping that they did. There’s another question I want to bring up too. It says Ray, the content pillars, I’m struggling with the climax turning point. The rest of the pillars seem to be more about how the organization impacts a specific individuals story is the climax when we shift the focus to the organization itself, and its overall impact.
Okay, so this is a really great question. And I do think it’s gonna get clarified as we start to walk through, but it actually sort of highlights maybe something that I wasn’t clear about. So the entire dramatic arc can be told from the perspective of anybody. So meaning, you can use the entire arc to tell a cohesive story about a beneficiary, you could use the entire arc to show to tell a cohesive story about your journey in the organization, you can use the whole arc to tell the story of the organization’s founding today, it’s the tool to tell any story. So if you were telling a if you were telling a story about the organization, right, because it sounds like that is where the climax is feeling. particularly challenging, right? So that might be something like, you know, if you’re telling your sort of founding story or the journey of your of your nonprofit, right, it would be like first we tried like blank, blank, but we found blank, then we partnered with blank leads, right? That’s the rising action. And the climax Pinnacle would be. We realize this, I’m doing this very quickly, right, but it’s like, and then one day, we had someone inside our program asked blank, and a light bulb went on. And we realized that the missing component of our program was AIX. And from that day forward, we blank, right? So it’s like, it’s like, here’s how we’re solving the problem. But we’re not quite getting there, like all the and then what’s the turning point? Like? What is the moment that made today today, right. And so that’s really what you’re looking for, either in your own journey. If that journey was a beneficiary’s story, right, it could even be like, we tried supporting them with this service or this service, and it didn’t work and, you know, that sort of rising action, or then they experienced this, and we found that they needed, you know, additional support around blank. And then one day, we saw them presenting in front of their seventh grade class around math, and what we recognized was that blank, and so, right, and then there’s like that climax, the turning point for the student. And then the resolution from there, that wasn’t a great example off the cuff. But I think you get the idea. And we’ll get into this way more specifically for your specific organizations as we start to move through these pillars. That I hope that was a good kind of overview. That feel good, okay. Yes. Okay, you guys. Okay, so, this is workshop time. And again, for those of you who joined later, I just want to sort of explain how this is going to work. And ask for your sort of patience, and teamwork and all of it. So we are going to go through each of the five pillars, I’m gonna explain the pillar a little bit more. And then I’m gonna give you three minutes to work on that pillar for your organization. We’re gonna do pillar one, and pillar two, and then I’m gonna invite you to share those out, we’ll pick a few of them, and we’ll kind of workshop them together, you’ll get my live feedback. Then we’ll go we’ll do pillar three have three minutes, pillar four, have three minutes, then you’ll share pillar three and four together, we’ll workshop two of them, give some feedback, we’ll see how we’re doing on time. If we have time for additional ones, we’ll do that too. Then we’ll move on to pillar five, you’ll have another three minutes, we’ll ask again, person folks to share out their entire stories, we’ll give some feedback, we’ll look at them together. And again, because this is like a live workshop, these stories. And these examples are not we’re not preceded to me, we did not make this up. This is really from you guys in the audience. So you’re going to have to understand that I’m a human and I’m going to be reading and, and giving feedback on the fly. And so I’m just going to ask that, you know, you sort of come to this again, feeling like this is a workshop. We’re really working through these pieces together. Okay, so we’re going to start with pillar number one. So however, you’re going to want to write this up, whether it’s notes on your computer or writing it handwritten out either way is fine. So pillar number one again, this is the exposition and character development. So you need to pick in your head right now, Which story are you going to use? Who’s the character you’re going to use for this entire arc yourself? Your organism nation’s founding story or a beneficiary in your program, you need to pick one of those three, because that’s how you’re going to follow this thread all the way through. And then you’re going to work on pillar one. So exposition and character development. So what is the story and we know a lot of you guys wanted to write your story in particular on this workshop. So the language is written in that way. And I encourage that if you’re like, I never know how to tell my own story of the organization. Right? So what’s your story? Why are you here? What’s the context in your life or experience that is most relatable and relevant to this audience and the work of the organization? Right, so that’d be the guiding questions for your for your story. And actually, let me say one more thing before we before we click the timer, you also want to pick your audience. So you’re going to pick who’s the character of your story, right? The character of your story is you, right? A lot of folks want you and sort of like your your organization’s journey you to your organization’s journey, your organization’s founding story, you can do that if you really don’t want to do your story. Or you could do a beneficiary story if you really don’t want to do your story. And then you need to identify your audience. And I want you to pick a segment. This is for prospective donors who care about blank, or this is for prospective donors who came to our virtual gala two years ago, because it was focused on blank, but we haven’t been able to get in touch with them since. Right, I just want you to pick an audience segment. And you guys, I’m teaching you a formula here and tools. So I don’t want you to get worried about like, what’s the perfect one, like anything, pick anything, right? So I close your eyes and pick a segment, it doesn’t matter. We’re just using it as an opportunity to practice these skills. And then you’re going to be able to apply these skills to lots of other audiences. And we’re going to talk about that more to at the end how you do that. For right now. I just want you to pick one, so that you can put on that fender lens, you can tap into that empathy as we start to move through these pillars. Okay, so pillar one is that character development, right? What’s the story? Why are you here? What’s the context in your life that’s most relatable or relevant to this audience and the work of the organization? Okay, you want to get as detailed as possible without it being jargony or logistics details? I’m going to set the timer for three minutes right now. Oh,
yeah, one thing I want to give a couple of housekeeping instructions. One, this is being recorded and will be sent out to you later this week to the slide deck is in the handouts on your control panel. And I’m going to be sending over in the chat, you should see a chat message, you’re going to look for the green bubble to place your your response in the chat. So you should be able to see the chat on your dash on your control panel. And then you should see a green bubble to reply or paste your information into it. I’m going to send that out now and now. It’s all yours do.
Okay, amazing. Okay, so I’m going to click the timer for three minutes. Hopefully folks have their audience picked and their character picked. And three minutes, pillar one, let’s go.
And while we’re waiting, I’m going to just kind of go through some of these chat questions just to kind of get them in your ear. So you don’t have to scroll all the way through it. Some of these things are very, very good. There’s a big question about domestic violence, and how do you deal with that because their information is very private. There was a suggestion from another person. So thank you for the collaboration, that when they work for nonprofit connected with sex traffic victims, they did compilation stories, so they would compile three or four different stories and make like a, you know, someone out of that. So the exact details were completely different for that person that they were referring to. I thought that was a good response. But if you can take a look through these you’ll see there are some really good questions in here. I’m just going through to see
someone’s say they have a lot of videos. Do you recommend that as part of your story, which, you know, videos always grab people’s attention Oh, here’s, here’s a good one. Most people don’t think hospice applies to them, which is a common misconception. Any suggestions of how to come off more relatable to donors? Hmm, that’s a good one. And I’m not going to put you on the spot and make you answer those now. But I’ve just thought putting this in your ear. So you would have some time to think about them?
Yeah, I can answer a few of those when. And also, I’ll just say to folks, like, if you need more concentration, while you’re writing, mute us, you have the timer on the screen. So feel free to like take care of your needs as we’re going through this. But I’m happy to answer some of those. I don’t know that I remember all of them off the top of my head. But I think one piece around the ethical storytelling that I’ll say for folks who who is and we have an article that will link at the end of this to run ethical storytelling, I think that’s a great idea around sort of combining stories is one way to do it. And just being transparent with donors around that. I think another thing, right like that I’ve seen organizations do is almost have like little animation stories sometimes that give an example of someone who moves through their programming, it could follow that same story arc that answers the video question to like, a full video could follow the arc. Oh, was that the timer making that noise? Wow, look at that. I was like someone’s knocking, but it’s our timer. And so like video could use that whole arc. Or you could have elements of video incorporated into the overarching arc, right? Like, you could use the dramatic arc throughout an entire video. Or you could use video to highlight different pieces of the Ark as people are moving through the story. Um, do you want me to answer a few more of those? Or should we go to pillar two? Right? Well, I
think we have some some issues I want to address first, a lot of folks are not seeing the green chat bubble. So you’re welcome to put your questions, your responses into the questions box, we’ll try to piece those together as best we can. It looks like people would like us to mute while they’re doing this, so that makes sense. And so yes, please feel free to put your your pillar one responses into the questions box, if that’s easier for you. Apparently, they are not seeing the chat. So I apologize.
Okay. Yeah, so put your questions in the question box. And for pillar two, we will actually be quiet for those three minutes. And we’ll just let the timer go so that you can work on that. So So pillar one is the like ultimate character development. And pillar two? Let’s wait, you’re not seeing pillar two? Are you? Okay, there we go. Pillar two is sort of the core problem, right? So the core problem that your organization is solving and how that relates to them, and to you or to them in the organization or to them and the beneficiary. So what keeps this audience up at night? Right? How are they viewing the problem in the world as they as it relates to the work that your organization does? So helping to see that core problem. So I’m going to, I think this might be helpful in that I promised I will set the timer. So I want to give an example of what sort of pillar one and pillar two could sound like, right? So that exposition and character development. And then the core problem. This is around a founder story, and I did this in the community workshop on over the summer. But just to give you an idea of what this sounds like, right, so our founder, Susan was 30 when she had her first son, Josh, she dreamed of traveling with Josh and couldn’t wait to go to like parent teacher conferences. And he was really just like any normal six month old, like he loved playing with those little stackable cups, and he was super giggly and love to be tickled. But one day while Susan was playing with Josh in the bath, these hives started to appear. And before she knew it, she was web emptying. She was home alone, her husband was out at some happy hour for work. So she starts with and being what all of these hives could be. She got to the hospital just in time to get an epi pen shot and he was okay. And she had this huge wave of relief, but it was confirmed that he had a severe peanut allergy. So there’s an example of pillar one, the character development around Susan, who is she write what did she care about? What was she dreaming about when she had her first son? And then the core problem is this allergy, right? That’s the core problem that’s going to you’re going to see that theme throughout the journey, okay, so right now you want to think about what the core problem is either how it relates to your story, the organization’s founding story, or the beneficiary’s story that you’re telling so I’m gonna set the timer for three minutes we’re going to actually be quiet and we’re gonna give you a chance to start to work on that Now.
I would love to have you either in I see, folks. Yes, you guys. Um, so I’m loving this participation. Okay, so I’m in the in the question sections, and some folks are having trouble with the chat. Go ahead and give us pillar one and pillar two, there are a lot coming in. I would even if you even if we can’t answer yours directly on this call today, I want to encourage you to still shoot it in to the question section. Because the moment of have like good enoughness is really important. And a lot of things that I see like a lot of times what I see with storytelling, like this is a lot of ruminating that holds us back from moving forward. And so I want you to feel like what you have there, your first shot at this is wonderful. And we’re going to learn how to workshop this stuff. But I want you to feel proud of spending the time to really work on this pillar one, pillar two. And so I want you to shoot it in there. You can say please don’t read this out loud if you don’t want us to. But I want you to get that like satisfaction of like, look what I just wrote. This is really important. And I’m moving forward around how I want to connect my stories and my story and what I’m seeing already in here is so awesome. So you guys, I’m pumped about this. And I am going to give some feedback because I think that’s why we’re here right is to like always be figuring out how we can get there. better and better. Um, okay, let me go here. Okay, so I am going to Donna, maybe you would you help me find a second one, I have a first one that now a textbox does not want to show up. So here we go, we’re gonna do a new one. Okay. So I recognize that this is probably going to be pretty hard for people to read, but I’m going to do my best lips to be able to sort of follow along here for everyone. Okay, so this was someone’s pillar one. And can you guys see that? Okay, Donna, can you see that? Okay? Yes, perfect. Okay, so even if I go out of there, okay. Um, so, I’m going to show you guys some things that I really like love inside there. And where I think there’s opportunity for tweaking to sort of increase that belonging and connection component and the chemical reactions in our brain, right. So first of all, what I love is that this starts off with something super personal and vulnerable, right? So like who who you really are right, I grew up in a lower income family that struggled with financial security. And from a young age, I’ve understood firsthand what it means for a family to live in an environment where money is a looming issue. I’m also a proud big sister of a sibling born with a cognitive disability, which came with it and need to figure out how to best support her and needing money to often get the right supports our responsibility I still take on today. Okay, so really, really meaningful. Pillar one, right, telling the story of, of what really kind of brings you to the issue area, right? Here are some and I don’t know if any of the chat is working for folks. But if you guys want to put in the chat, what you love about this. And and first of all, just thank you so much for sharing this and letting us use this as an example to workshop today. It is so generous of you to be giving this to us. So thank you, here’s some of my initial recommendations around this. So this piece around your sibling being born with a cognitive disability, right, there’s a there’s an emotional connection that I think could be tied directly to the financial security piece earlier. Right. So one of the things that I would think about when I look at this is okay, how do we consolidate some of this in some of the most visualizable and connected elements, right? So I grew up in a lower income family that struggled with financial security, it was already challenging to be able to do blank. But when my when my little sister was diagnosed with a cognitive disability, additional stress, financial stress showed up in order for us to get her the services she needed to do blank. Right. So it paint, it’s a little bit more of that like storytelling piece, right? And instead of having to say like, I have understood firsthand what it means for a family to live in an environment where money is looming issue, you’re showing them that right, you’re like you’re giving an example of what that actually meant. And because the piece around your sister really ties into your work earlier, or Yeah, to your work later, you’re bringing that up front and center. Some other additional things you could add to this to really help people be sort of connected to the like people like us, things like that is that you could say the age you were perhaps when your sibling was diagnosed with that, or the row I love that you said proud big sister, right? You could also give one more description of what that meant proud big sister who loved to take her blank, right? Because then it’s like people like us people who take care of our family members by doing things like this, right people like us. That’s we’re trying to sort of weave that into the way we tell our own story. So that would be one piece around pillar one that I would recommend. And then pillar two goes into this after many years as a CPA in the public accounting and corporate finance world. I know I wanted to focus my career in the nonprofit sector where I could leverage my personal experiences, my professional expertise and my passion for serving and helping others. I came to this organization given that its mission is to financially empower individuals who are living in or at risk of poverty, including people living on disability, who are often the most vulnerable in this population. Okay, so I think what you just gave us here is the resolution. So this is wonderful and this is beautiful, but What we want to hear about between who you were as a kid, and this are more of the steps that led to the work, right? So the core problem that I would work to identify is the core problem that you experienced or your family experience that the organization solves, right. So, you know, as a resourceful family, we were able to do X, Y, and Z. But we continue to have challenges when it came to blank. Right, again, showing what you understand about the issue area. So I hope that’s helpful. Donna to be like that was? Yeah, I know, we’re getting a lot of I know, we’re getting a lot of things in here. But I hope so this is great. Like, this piece is great. But I think this is more of the resolution, sort of like with what you’re doing now. And we can talk about that more later, we need to build the arc that really led you to that place, right. The Arc could also be something like, you know, when I was working in the corporate finance world, I was quickly reminded of what it was like to blank when I saw blank, right. And so you could have the core problem, again, be around that the core issue of the organization. And you don’t have to tell your like life story to that moment, but But part of the core problem that started you on the journey to the work that you’re doing now, right, so when I’m making up your story right now, so please forgive me. But just to give you an example, right, when I was a CPA in the corporate finance world, like I was watching, again, the the giant discrepancy between resource allocation, and it reminded me of when we were trying to get my sister services around blank and blank. And so I started to look into what I could do in my adult life to make an issue and an impact area that affected me. So personally, growing up first, I researched this thing, then I thought about volunteering for this thing. But then I found blank organization. And what clicked for me was recognizing the way that they combined blank and blank services. And that’s what my family, that’s what would have changed the course of my family’s life. And so I rerouted my career and I decided to, you know, show up in the nonprofit sector, because I saw that I could affect the change that we that I would have wanted us to have growing up, right. So I’m sorry for the way I fabricated your story right there. But I just wanted to sort of show you the way that that whole arc would take place. Okay. All right. So that’s, that’s number one. Oh, dice. Go ahead.
No, no, I just had another story. But you’re welcome to move on. If you’re ready to move on.
No, I’ll do it with time. Yeah, there’s one.
Yeah, I want you to look at the time, but there’s one in the chat if you ready to expand on
- One and two, Doris. Yes. Okay. Let’s see. Okay. Um, all right. I’m gonna do this.
And I’m gonna chat them probably to you,
I think. Okay. All right. So, um, you guys, I’m so impressed with you. I’d have to tell you that Okay. Um
Okay, so this is long, so I might just do pillar one for this to make sure that I’m being conscientious of time, so. Okay, so Doris is 78 year old woman. Walk cashback County has been married to her husband chuck for 60 years. Recently, Chuck passed away during their life together, Chuck had taken care of their lawn and drove them to medical appointments in the grocery store. As Doris does not drive Chuck indoors had children but they no longer live in town. Doris lives on a minimal annual income and falls into a gap where she doesn’t qualify for government entitlement program, but lacks financial means to pay for services that Chuck used to provide her like a cab ride and long lawn care. Without the help from her husband. Doris is unsure if she’s able to continue living in their home of 30 years as she can’t manage some of her basic needs alone. Because of her circumstances. Doris has turned to the community for support. Okay, so I love this visual of this couple. Right? There’s like one more piece I was kind of hungry for right which is like Doris, a 78 year old woman has been married to her husband Chuck had been married to her husband chuck for 60 years they loved and just something that helped us visualize their relationship beyond just the lawn care or something like that. Something that would help people connect to them right? Or say people like me take care of people like Doris and Chuck, like, I want to just know a little bit more about them, right? I want to know a little bit more about them. And then and then you do such a beautiful job sharing the story of what it was like for what she was sort of missing in her daily routine. There’s one other pieces and maybe we’ll get to this in the other pillars, I just want to highlight one of the things I think is really interesting about this, the story and it sounds like the work that you all do, right is that if it wasn’t for these, this gap, she could be independent, right? A more independent living in her home, right? And so the idea that people might connect with here is that like, can you imagine, you know, wanting to be in your own home wanting to have your regular life. But just because you can’t mow your lawn, you’re starting to think about needing to have like, fully assisted living or something like that, right? To sort of show like, she has the ability to do all of these other things, and really sort of paint the picture around, the gap is pretty small, and we can close it. But it is taking care of these things that people are used to sort of managing through their domestic partnerships, and throughout their life. So I hope that’s helpful. That’s sort of like the one. The one other thing I would think about maybe later in your pillars, okay, you guys, we could talk about this forever. So let me move on to pillar three. Okay, so. And thank you keep sending things, I’m sure there’s a way for me to get the questions afterwards as well, too. And so I’ll think about sort of how I can continue that on, you can also DM me on Instagram or LinkedIn or something like that. Okay. pillar number three. So this is the conflict, the challenges, the potential solutions, right. So what types of challenges will grab their attention? What types of challenges will create tension? And actually, in that last story with Doris, we were starting to see that right. We were actually starting to go into pillar three, again, right, the rising action is that how is she going to take care of her lawn? How is she you know, she has government, there’s like maybe government support that could help with this thing. But there isn’t government support to close this gap, right. And it sounds like maybe she falls into a bucket where she gets no government support. So we’re actually seeing a good example of rising action, right, the core problem in that last story with Doris is that the domestic responsibilities that allow her to live independently in her home were taken care of by her husband, who then passed away and there’s a gap in services to continue to allow her to live independently and so the rising action are the ways that she’s experiencing those challenges that then can meet us up in the climax of where the organization comes in. So thank you for the person who submitted that because he really took us nicely into pillar number three. Okay, so what types of challenges will grab their attention again, that’s why I highlighted that wouldn’t it be so frustrating to be able to live completely alone if it was not for these like little things that a service would be able to provide? So for everybody else I want you to start to think about what your rising action conflict challenges potential solutions are. I’m a start the timer and we can go.
Mallory, can you go back to pillar three on the slide deck, please?
Oh, yes. Sorry about that.
We’re going to stop when the timer hits one because I had to reset it so just FYI?
Beep beep beep I’m the timer this time. And okay, so we are going to move into pillar four. And I’m going to on the fly do just a quick. So hold pillar three, we are going to go through pillar four. And then we’re actually going to go through pillar five, and then we’ll do another share out just so we’re consciences of time and making sure we’re getting to everything. So pillar four, this is how does your organization enter the scene? Right? So why is your organization the solution to create the turning point in the story, right? So again, with Doris, we see where that was going. There’s this gap. It’s not filled by social services, we want her to be able to stay in her own home and enter what becomes available to her right and how that allowed her to continue to live independently. With those services being provided. Again, I’m making up pieces of stories and but just to show the example here, right? And same with the one before how the organization showed up on the scene of your life journey to that moment when you were really looking to be able to give back or solve a specific problem in the community. So this is your climax turning point in your story. Three minutes. Let’s go
All right, I want to answer a few quick questions that I saw coming in before we move into pillar five. So here’s what I want to say, once you got, there’s this great question around when do you have time to tell such a robust story. So once you get all of these pillars written, then you can go back with a fine tooth comb, and you can shorten this thing. My story to you guys at the beginning was about 45 seconds long. I think it’s like somewhere between 45 and 60 seconds long, right? I call it a 62nd story arc. So these do not have to be that long. Now, why am I not teaching you to write a 62nd? One right away, because that’s very hard to do, you need to write the whole thing out. And then you can start cutting, shortening, consolidating, figuring out, we’re gonna talk about this thing called message mining later on how you customize small words, even in your story, to relate it to different audiences. So when you’re telling I mean, this is stories you can tell at a cocktail party or a networking event, it’s like your what you’re going to start to identify as just the the core element of each of these pillars, that could be one sentence, and you can sort of pull and you can pull that out. The other thing I found here is will you show us an example with the pillars detailed out. So I did this on the community conference, one with all with Susan’s whole story. So maybe we can even grab that slide, I can find sort of the recording, grab that slide. And you can hear me do that around each pillar, and you see it written down below on that slide as well inside that, so we’ll get you that. And I and I can also share something with you that we can figure out getting in the post email where you see my story that I delivered at the very beginning of this, you can see each of these five pillars sort of highlighted out in my story as well, I have that but not in a shareable document at the moment. So but I will get that to all of you guys. Okay, so we’re not going to do this, we’re gonna go to five and then we’ll do another share out. So, five, this is the resolution, right? So we learned about the catabolic and anabolic energy, we don’t want to leave people in a state of shame, guilt, stress, fear, right, we need to resolve we just had rising conflict, right? I need to know what’s happening to help Doris Right. Like I’m officially worried about her. And I want her to be able to live in her home because my I have a 97 year old grandma who lives in her home too. And so I really want to know what happens what’s available for people like my grandma. And Doris right. So we need to resolve these stories. Right. So here are some of the guiding questions. What makes them the donor feel a part of the solution? Right? What creates a sense of urgency, not fake urgency, but the answer, we’re always trying to provide his wine now, right? Like, why does our issue matter? Now, this is not about fake urgency. But why is the time now to solve this problem, right? And then how that call to action can relieve the tension. And the reason why I’m not telling you a specific call to action, because sometimes it’s going to be an invitation to donate. Sometimes it’s gonna be an invitation to have a virtual coffee chat, right? If you’re networking, sometimes it’s going to be thanking the donor for the way they’ve already impacted your work. Thanks to donors like you were able to show up for 2000 people like doors every single day, right? So the story needs to resolve we need to leave them with anabolic energy at the end, right. All right. So you’re going to work on pillar five resolution, how are you going to relieve that tension? Three minutes, and then we’ll do so I’m sure backs and feedback ready Go?
All right, I started to work on one of these, one of these already. And okay, so folks are which is great people are sort of handing me all different types of things at the moment, and some are still giving pillar one and then I’m seeing some combinations and, and some just five. So I’m going to just in the interest of time, pull some ones that I thought were really helpful for the whole group to sort of see how these pieces come together. So let me show you one of them. Okay, so this is I think this is the the pillar five. And it’s because it’s talking about or maybe this is still the climax in the pinnacle moment. But it’s an it’s showing the it’s talking about the organization, right, amazing place is a nonprofit that provides a day program for participants with dementia at a cost subsidized by our donors. It also provides caregiver education, like the class I took and support from a licensed social worker at no cost to those in need. So I want to show you what I would do.
Okay, so this is I’m gonna do this on the fly with all the guys. Okay, so this is awesome, because it clearly states a few different things here, right? It tells you a little bit about the program, and it shares like how it becomes accessible, right? And it connects back to the writers story around the class that they took, right, which we’re not hearing about here. So it’s kind of hard for us to follow that entire arc But here’s some things that when I looked at this, I think we could do to just make this a little bit stronger. Right? So amazing place is a nonprofit that with the help of community members like, like you solve for the daytime loneliness, sorry, I’m typing and talking at the same time that most people with dementia fate face access is our number one priority. Which is why we engage a community of supporters and donors to make this problem available to all however many people with dementia in your community or that you serve, right. So what I did there, I didn’t have time to write it all out, right is that one, I brought back the donor lens piece with the help of community members like you, it’s not all about the nonprofit, we do this thing over here. It’s that the nonprofit with the help of community members like you, and then you have the day program for participants with dementia. And I really wanted to highlight what that day program solves. I don’t know if this is language you use my other grandma had dementia. So I just use something I knew was true for her right, and I said solves for the daytime loneliness that most people with dementia face. And then the piece around the subsidy, the subsidy, I didn’t want to get into the logistics of the subsidy. But I wanted to say access is our number one priority, which is why we engage our entire community to be able to support these however many number of community members to age gracefully and with dignity or something like that, right. So it’s like you can really feel the community element of that you can see the person receiving the services in a more visible way, because you’re talking about the problem, again, their rights, you’re resolving hopefully, the tension that was created around what what people with dementia are facing, you want the resolve to be resolving that tension, not just the structure of the program, right? Because we understand so many details about our organization and why things are important. Like you know why a daytime program is important. But 90% of people do not know why a daytime program is important. And so that’s why we really want to sort of continue to bring back in that donor lens into each piece of this process. So I hope that was helpful. I’m sorry, I didn’t have time to write all of that out. But But I think that’s that is probably really helpful to to other people too. Because my guess is there’s a lot of a lot of language like that. And I want to share you there with someone else who shared a a pillar one that I also think would be really helpful for everybody to see. So I’m in it, so I want to go through it. So when Sergeant blank left the Marine Corps, he struggled to find a new career in the Marine Corps, he was recognized for his technical expertise and leadership abilities as an artillery, noncommissioned officer, but no one found the skills and experiences on his resume to be relatable. He kept finding jobs he was interested in, but could not convince anyone that he could excel at them. Okay, so this is a really great like, I have a great image of this person. But I can imagine that some people don’t know what some of these words mean, right, the artillery, noncommissioned officer might be hard for some folks to access. And there’s this other piece that I want to encourage you to include in something like this. And I think there are a lot of you guys out there, my guess who have a pillar one that’s similar to this is I want you to think about what elements of the character can the audience relate to? So let’s say your audience for this one is corporate professionals. I’m just making that app, right. But let’s say that that’s your audience, right? You’re sending this out to a bunch of like big corporate professionals, then you might want to say something like, you know, like after 15 years of loyal service to the Marine Corps, blank found himself in a really uncomfortable position. When he couldn’t find a new career in the Marine Corps. He was a leader and confident and never second guessed his ability to solve a problem. And then when he returned from his service, when he should have been celebrated for his accolades, other people weren’t able to translate his skills directly to their roles. So the difference there, right is that you’re thinking about the personality characteristics of your audience, and you’re starting to incorporate that into the story of the person that you’re telling, right? They might not understand what it means to be a leader in artillery non or an artillery, noncommissioned officer, but they know what it feels like to be confident and then Have that affirmed and to lose their confidence, they know what it feels like to think you were a great leader and then experience self doubt, right? They know what it feels like to not have access to something you know you can do. But because some piece of paper doesn’t say it, you’re having trouble proving it, right. So just giving you an idea of like, that’s what it means to really incorporate the donor lens into these pieces. Okay, before we move on, I know that you guys, I’m so proud of you for putting all of this in the q&a. Like, I just hope you are celebrating this. I know, we are not getting to all of these. And seriously, if you’re feeling frustrated about that, please send me a DM on Instagram or LinkedIn, I will give you feedback, maybe a little voice memo, you can totally do that. I can’t believe I’m saying that to 325 people right now, but I am because I really want you to feel like celebrated and supported in this. And but I just want you to recognize like how amazing it is to like click Send on these things because it is so good. And do this with your team take this back to other team members get their feedback on this. What did they feel? What what’s missing? Could they visualize it? Right? These are great, great things to workshop. Okay, here’s what I think we should do. I think we should move through the rest of the content, so I don’t leave anything hanging. And then if we have some surprise time at the end, I’ll go back and do a few more two. Does that sound good? Okay. All right. Now I need some water again. All right, you guys. So
I want to talk about message mining and segmentation. So this is a super special thing that the DonorPerfect team helped me put together which is how can you tailor these stories to your audiences and different audience groups? So somebody asked earlier, one of the questions how different does it need to be for a foundation versus a corporate partner versus an individual. And I would argue that there are many individual segments as well, message mining is going to be a document, you’re going to get an A follow up email to this, it’s a guide. And what it does is it walks you through a process of interviewing different community members in a really fun and engaging way, and hearing the language through their mouth. Right? Like we make a lot of decisions about the language and our coffee based on how we think about the problem, and how we think about addressing the problem. And we need, we can’t anticipate all of the ways like I’m talking about some of the ways to include what they’re thinking in this. But the best way to do it is to ask them, and not ask them like what language you would use in this email, but ask them questions about defining the problem. What is the tension for them? What does keep them up at night? Why are they inspired around this thing? What questions do they still have, right? When you get answers to those things, and you’ll have this whole process where you’re recording these calls, you’re transcribing these calls, and then you’re highlighting patterns in their language, what you’re going to start to see is that different segments use the same words over and over and over again. And that’s going to give you incredible insight around the ways that you tweak these pillars per audience. Okay, so there’s more of that inside that guide. But I just want to explain a little bit of what that is. Okay. And then I know I’ve said this again and again, but I will die on this hill. Right? A good story is not a story for everyone. So well. 100% of people resonate with this story that you’ve put together? Absolutely not. And that is great news. Because the only way for people to know that the story that people like me do this thing is to have language that identifies who the right people are. Okay. And I know it’s hard. I know, we want to be for everyone. And I know it’s not just because we want to be for everyone because we want to fundraise for everyone, it’s because we really care that everyone cares about this issue that we care so deeply about. And I get that right. Like so much of your work is trying to get other people to care about this issue that is so deeply important and personal to you. And I like empathize and understand that from my own work too. And when we communicate that way, we don’t do a good job of engaging the right people. So we have to catch ourselves and we have to stop ourselves from sort of getting into that impulse. Okay. Now because so many of you guys are on DonorPerfect. We wanted to make sure that you know after you go through the message mining and after you tailor these pillars to different audience segments. We wanted to make sure you knew how to segment a little bit inside DonorPerfect just using audience customization and I would say Even if you aren’t on DonorPerfect, this is going to be helpful for you to see sort of how audience customization can happen because of tagging and things like that, that are really going to allow you to speak to sort of the right people in the right way. So Donna, take it away. And then we’ll do a quick recap. And again, I’ll answer any questions. Other questions if we have additional time.
All right, so you should be able to see my screen. There we go. And there’s Donna. Perfect. Thank you so much, Mallory. I’m telling you, I don’t think I’ve seen that many characters in the Question Block since I’ve started. So bravo, diva. You’re fantastic. So I’m talking about donor personas. Right. So donor personas, as Mallory mentioned, and you would see in the presentation, were designed for people selling things because they wanted to take a group of people and fictionalize them and kind of tagged them with some sort of Persona. So what I’ve done in DonorPerfect, and you’re going to be able to do this too, is I’ve gone into the screen designer and created a field called donor personas. It’s a drop down coded field. And it allows us to use the power of DonorPerfects calculated fields, and other information to create these personas. So for example, I’m going to scroll down the screen. And there you’re going to see there’s my donor persona section. And what we’ve done is created this drop down field, and you’ll see our folks we have lapsed donor Larry, major donor Mike mid level, Molly, monthly donor Donna, and potential donor Peggy, based on specific criteria that we designed and think about this is going to be specific to your organization, not necessarily, you know, cut and dry, this is what it is. So for example, major donor Mike, the criteria to be a major donor, Mike was their largest gift had to be $10,000 or more, or their lifetime gift total is $10,000 or more. And I put it right here above the giving engagement profile, so that you can see those values, these are system calculated fields that calculate all this data for you. So if we go to his lifetime total, Well, he certainly made the cut there with the lifetime gift total. And if we look at his largest gift, that is $30,000. So he definitely met both of those criteria. So based on that information, and the other criteria that I’ve given to these donor personas, we’re able to create filters to pull those records out. So if I go to settings in the top right corner, and filters, you’ll see that you’re able to create your filters here. So here’s our filter for major donor Mike. And this showed me that yes, their largest gift amount was greater than or equal to 10,000. Their lifetime gift total was 10,000. I also added the additional criterion of individual donor, I was really looking at individuals at this point. Okay, so we’ll be able to create a filter for that, I’m now going to go into the Report Center. And we’re going to show you a report that I created. It’s called donor personas, no surprise there. And I’m going to open it up. And we’re going to use a filter to pull those records. So the first filter I created is the donor persona field is not blank, I just want to see those records that meet any of those. And this particular report, because it is an easy report, I’m able to group the data. So you’re going to be able to see my lap Larry’s at the top. So there are my lapstone or Larry folks. And of course, you don’t have to put the names on there. But I just think it’s fun. I like the names. And so you will see those donors, but I’ve included additional information. So the last gift, date and amount. Clearly these votes are my lapsed donors. And I’ve added additional fields as well. Now, if I go through, I’m just going to do something really cool here. I’m going to go to the end of the report and just back one page. So these folks, actually, I’m not going to do that. I’m going to go here and show a summary. And it’s just going to give you a summary of each of the segments that we’ve given. There they are really, really easy. And so you’ll see each of the segments, I see a count and I see the total amount of their last gift and their last year, fiscal year to date totals. So this is great information to see but what if you wanted to email those folks through the Constant Contact integration? Well, this report is great, but I need to do some work on it. So I’m going to go into mailings and the menu ribbon at the top and select constant contact email. Now remember the beauty of the inner Gration with DonorPerfect and Constant Contact is I can use DonorPerfect filters to create my mailing lists. All right? So let’s go do that. Come on. Oh, don’t tell me you’re not gonna do that for me. All right, let’s try that once again, it’s not even going to lock out. Fabulous, don’t you love when that happens. So while I’m not able to do that here, I would be able to show you how to create a filter here. So if I wanted to see just specific records, I’m going to click on Apply. I’m going to add a new filter. And that field that is on the main screen, so I’m going to select the main screen. And you’ll see one of my favorites is donut persona. If I wanted to see exactly one, I’m going to go to exactly equals and choose one. Let’s take a look at our Ooh, let’s take a look at our we’ll do mid level, mid level Mollies. We’ve been talking about mid level donors a lot lately. So I like that. Okay, so these are my mid level donors. I’m going to click on Done. And now I’m just going to run this report. And I’ll be able to see, it’s not even going to let me run but that’s okay. That’s alright, because I’m always ready for this to be mean to me. That’s the way my life goes. So it’s all good. What would
a webinar be without a tech challenge or workshop B, and this girl will know that.
That’s the way it works. But that’s how we just get through it. So we laugh, sing, dance, whatever tickles your fancy. And we just go right back in and keep on plugging. So I’m going to go back to the Report Center. And I am going to make this really quick. So we’re going to go into our donor personas. And I just wanted to show you how to really create that filter. And it’s very, very simple. Once again, that filter was indicated, I’m sorry, it was that field is a drop down coded field is what I was trying to say. All right, Donna persona, exactly equal to Mali. Perfect. I’m not going to save it at this point. And then we’ll just run the report. So now this is going to give me that list. I want to run that again. So that we can see the detail. But you would use this filter in any report, you want to create your email lists and all of that. And then here are our folks. So it’s really important to know the the calculated fields in your system to help you get this information and keep in mind, your parameters are going to be different than someone else’s. Right. lapstone for some organizations is three years as opposed to the one. So that is the demo for that. Does anyone have any questions or anything else you think we should show here?
One question that I think has been said is around the calcul by the calculator piece. And, oh, why did we create a calculated field,
we did not create a calculated field. However, what we did was we were able to use the calculated fields as criterion in our filters. So I can say I created a drop down coded field. It’s just a coded field with those options. But I was able to use these system calculated fields to pull my data. And that’s how I was able to create a filter to say, Okay, I want to globally update all the records that meet these criteria. Lifetime totals 10,000 or more, or their maximum gift totals 10,000 or more. So these calculated fields that already are in the system, these already are in your system for you, calculating as we speak, will be able to be used to create these personas.
Awesome, awesome. Okay.
I’m gonna give you the stuff back so we can get moving and I do apologize. Worse now I can’t find my screen.
I’m going to I’m also going to throw in the chat right now a doc or the link to the community conference recordings from this summer for folks who are asking how I exactly go through each step of a pillar and an example. Slide 25 of that presentation. If you go on the 11am slot on Tuesday, and on Tuesday, June 7 and slide 25 I literally walk it through piece by piece and I give you the entire thing. So if you want to if you want to see that that will be that will be really helpful. And then this might be. Can you see my screen yet? Nope, not yet. Okay, here we go perfect. And then if you go to that, I’m going to actually throw my notes right here in the chat. So you can grab this. Again, this is a fake organization that I did this on the community and at the community conference, and so please forgive any typos, I’m literally giving this to you off the cuff. So that you to answer that question around me running through an exact an exact story. So let me make sure they got Okay. Let’s do a quick recap. So these are the pieces of storytelling that we really went through today, right? Number one, that storytelling follows the content pillars outlined with the dramatic arc. It’s a tool. So again, that piece around sort of not wanting to over dramatize certain things, or how to share stories, where there might be where you have questions about sort of like ethical storytelling, I think, and you’ll see that we have this blog for you there as well. And I have a few other things to say about that. But what I wouldn’t worry about like that tool can adapt to your organization’s needs. So it’s really about using that tool in alignment with your donors, the people like us that do things like this, and the core values of your work, right and making that tool work for you. The other piece here is to avoid the common storytelling mistakes, such as broad audience, jargon details that the audience doesn’t understand, and an unresolved story. So sometimes it’s super hard. When you’re inside the jargon to know what’s the jargon, ask your friend who knows nothing about your organization, like send them your story arc and say, Hey, I use with my husband all the time. I’m like, tell me what about this makes no sense. And then he’ll be like, I don’t know what that is. I don’t know what that is. I don’t know what that is. And so even though he’s not a fundraiser, he’s not in the nonprofit sector, it’s really helpful for me to realize when I’m getting too detailed around something, right, because we want this to be relatable and accessible to a larger audience, that’s really different than the messaging being for everyone, because you’re still being specific who the people like us are, but you’re making the language itself really accessible. Number three, is that the impact story is critical to engage all types of supporters because it builds belonging with the organization when there is alignment, particularly across two to five of the content pillars. So again, this is something I talk about a lot more in the community conference. One of the things that happens a lot of the times in storytelling is that we really give our donor lens or empathy to one content pillar. And then we’re like, we’re done. We like included our donors, like, you know, thinking about things through their perspective. But I think as you could see, in all the feedback I was giving, is like to reflect on what are they going to connect to in pillar one? What are they going to connect to in pillar two and three, and four? And five? How are we showing up in those pillars in ways that are going to resonate with the right people like us? Right. And then understanding and segmenting your audience is critical to make sure that you’re aligning the right story with the right audience, right. So this is where as you want, as you want to get more specific, right? Maybe you want to mention that they volunteered last year with the organization or you want to mention that they particularly gave to that Giving Tuesday campaign last year, right. That’s where these these segments can come into play or donor personas, right? You don’t want to send a lapsed donor met list something like you know, you have been so committed to our organization every year. They’re not going to feel like you are really talking to them, right if they haven’t given to you since 2017. Right? So this is where that sort of like segmentation and customization can be really helpful. The tool around message mining is going to really help you get specific around how language shifts for these different groups as well. And then we know that ethical storytelling is a hot topic. This blog is here and I’ll also say that I have a number of resources coming on my podcast what the fundraising that’s even more about this, we have an episode dropping soon around an anti oppressive copywriting. From like a sales page expert and sort of translating that into fundraising. There’s a number of other resources so subscribe to what the fundraising if you want some more of that as well. Again, if you have questions are like I really want your input on this sentence or this part. Shoot me a DM I’m happy to answer them. What are the ways to oh, this is if you haven’t already come to my free master class that talks all about power partners and sort of lays out the whole framework, you can join us anytime at Mallory erickson.com, backslash free. And we’ll you’ll see a lot of we talk a lot about donor lenses on there. And then here is how you get in touch with me. So if you want to shoot me that DM, here’s my full name and Instagram website and all of that. I know I’ve taken us right up to the clock. Johnny, are there any other questions that you feel like would be really helpful for me to answer in these sort of final four minutes?
So there are a ton of questions. However, the last one came up about the donor persona. And I think I just want to speak very quickly to that. So the field that you saw that I created is not a standard field and DonorPerfect. It’s something I created via the screen designer. So you can check out the knowledge base support, they can help you create it, and defining your donor personas is really up to you all. What do you consider a major donor? Who are the audience? Who are the folks that you want to reach out to? And then you’re going to be able to use flags and calculated fields and things like that, and DonorPerfect to help create those persona. And then we’ll we’ll, you can do that. If you have training with us. We’re happy to help you with that. If you want to reach out to support about creating fields, we can help you with that as well.
Okay, and there are no specific articles about donor. Well, maybe we do have some I think so there are some donor persona. If you check out the knowledge base, could someone put that link in the chat as well, please, for the donors personas. Go ahead, Erica. I’m sorry, Mallory. I was thinking.
Like, we’ll be joined by Erika to hey, I think that’s great. I see that there are a lot of of questions here. And I think, folks, if they go back to that, and the community conferencing, they can watch the recordings there, right from June 8. Okay, so June 7, at 11am. eastern standard time is when I did my presentation, where I’ll go over a lot of the foundational principles in in more depth as well, plus the full run through of the pillars and an example story that I made up, which I gave you my behind the scenes notes in the chat here as well. So you can grab those out of the chat, and then go and watch that there. The last thing I want to say really, before we go is just that this is a place to play and test and try and see how different language resonates with different people. So I really want to encourage you to start using some of what you came up with on this webinar. Immediately I saw this other piece or other question when they were asking when would you have time for this whole thing? Or do you see yourself breaking it up? Absolutely. The language that you’re coming up with. And each of these pieces are art can be captured and integrated into social copy newsletter copy right there. It’s just that this is this overarching story arc that’s really based in an empathy donor lens, and deeply connected to what evokes emotion for us as people. And I don’t want to lose sight of that like energy piece. For all of you, too. We have an ongoing narrative in our head that no one wants to hear our story. And that could not be more untrue. Oftentimes, when we, when we feel that way, we end up sticking with the data or being really short and quick and sending the invitation you know the link to sign up for the event, which with no story around it. And what connects people to each other is a story what connects people to who they are is giving. Donating builds identity, it is a gift to invite people to cement their identity to show up as their best selves. And every time you tell that story, and every time you invite people in, you are giving people an incredible gift to make meaningful to do meaningful work in this world. And so don’t deprive people of that opportunity. They want to be a part of this with you. So thank you so much for the amazing work that all of you do for spending all of this time with us today. I’m so honored to get to spend two hours with you and to hear your stories and see your stories and for DonorPerfect for putting on this incredible way for us to work together. I’m so grateful.
And I am as well thank you so much Mallory, we always treasure the time that we spend with you. You give us so much to think about and we learned so very much from you allow allowing us to pick your brain and just get all the wonderful information that you share. And I want to echo Mallory As well, we want to thank you for all that you do to make this world a better place your stories, I was little get a little choked up over here reading those stories and I thought, wow, these people are really awesome. So thank you for allowing us to join this journey with you. And for that I want to say thank you. On behalf of Mallory and the DonorPerfect training team and our leadership. We want to thank you so very much for joining us have a great rest of the day, and we hope to see you again soon in another webinar training or webcast. Take care. Bye byeRead Less