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The Storytelling Formula

by Caitlin Curry | Nov 4, 2022 | Fundraising

Much like solving for “x” in a mathematical equation, how you tell your organization’s story requires a specific formula.

Every piece of documentation, every resource, every bit of information you put into the world, should align with the story you tell. It should be so embedded in who you are as an organization that even your audience can easily become an ambassador to your mission.

It seems like basic addition—two plus two equals four—but many organizations end up with a blackboard full of the wrong variables, in a room full of the wrong people, and wonder why they cannot solve the equation.

So … let’s SOLVE the equation with this storytelling formula!

S: Simple

Keep it simple. You want your story to be easy for your audience to follow. By keeping your story focused, your audience will be more inclined to share it with others. Often, we can cloud it with too many details and make the story difficult to be a part of. The audience does not have to know what color chalk was used to write the problem.

O: Obstacle

Identify your obstacle. A story without a problem for which you need a solution is not very compelling. If there is no obstacle to overcome, why would someone need to support your organization? Tell your audience what you are up against, and how it seems impossible to overcome.

L: Leverage

Leverage your audience. Who is best to help your organization overcome the obstacles you have established? Once you have identified them, put them to work. You should express how they can be the solution to the problem.

V: Vision

What does the future look like? Try not to keep your story focused on the past; you want the history of your story to quickly evoke the vision for the future. How will the ability to overcome the obstacle change things? Tell your audience how, with only their help, it can be better!

E: Emotion

Pull those heartstrings! Your story should evoke connection between the reader and the mission. Your story must be personal—this connects your audience to your organization on a deeper level. It moves them to not only know your organization but support it by giving of their time, money, and resources!

While facts and figures can get the attention of your board of directors and CFO, your everyday audience requires a compelling story to get their attention, and in turn, their support.

How you tell your story matters, and it will have an incredible impact on the long-term success of your organization.

With each of these variables included in your storytelling formula, you are sure to stop scratching your head at the blackboard and solve the equation! Before you know it, you will have gained a captive audience!

Now, put your chalk to the blackboard and write your story!

If your business or organization needs help to solve for “x” in your storytelling formula, CLICK HERE or call us today at 724-733-1200.

Caitlin Curry
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