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Share supporter stories with our Story Collection tool

October 01, 2020
A nonprofit volunteer listens to a constituent's story.

People are driven by stories. They’re all around us across different mediums, in the news, entertainment, and social media. They allow readers to feel a stronger sense of connection than numbers and information alone could achieve. 

The use of storytelling is a powerful yet understated tool in the nonprofit world for these reasons. Stories can be easily shared across social media, your website, and other outreach methods to engage supporters and connect them to your nonprofit organization’s purpose. Ultimately, storytelling can help you improve both marketing and fundraising for your organization.

You’ve probably told your nonprofit’s story many times, explaining your purpose and day-to-day work to make a difference in the world. But have you also considered what type of impact a story told by a member of the community you serve would have? What about the story of one of your supporters and why they take action for your nonprofit?

In this post, we’ll explore the effectiveness of letting supporters tell their own stories and how our Story Collection tool can help. 

The power of supporter testimonials

Think about the prospective donors who visit your website or find your nonprofit on social media. They may want to hear from you about your work, but they’re more likely to value the words of your supporters. Genuine, personal stories about working with your organization build trust with your audience and engage prospective supporters.

Take a look at these statistics about the power of personal testimonials:

Stories not only effectively evoke curiosity, but also compassion. By including testimonials in your outreach, you’ll show readers that a strong base of supporters believes in your purpose and knows that you make a positive impact. 

Bonterra Fundraising’s Story Collection tool

To encourage supporters to share their stories and make it easy for your organization to use their testimonials, consider using an online management tool like Story Collection. 

What is Story Collection?

Story Collection is a feature of Bonterra Donor Engagement’s Fundraising solution that allows nonprofits to collect, track, and organize personal stories from supporters that highlight the work or impact of their organization. 

With Story Collection, supporters can submit their own stories via a branded online form. Take a look at this example from People for Good:

This is an example of a branded Story Collection submission form from People for Good. Read more details about the form below.

Using the submission form, supporters can easily input their contact details, give their story an optional title, and share their experience with your nonprofit. Supporters can include as much or as little detail as they want.

What can you do with the Story Collection tool?

After a supporter submits their story, it will immediately be added to your nonprofit’s collection. From there, you can:

  • Store and edit the story via your CRM.
  • Attach photos and documents to a supporter’s contact record.
  • Attach YouTube links for video stories.
  • Assign staff to review and follow up on specific stories.
  • Write comments on the story within the CRM.
  • Schedule a follow-up with the supporter about their story’s details.

You can easily manage all of this data using the comprehensive stories report. Here’s an example of what a story’s details might look like in your nonprofit’s database:

This is an example of a story’s details page within the Story Collection tool. It includes the story, attachments, and staff assignment.

Start increasing engagement with Bonterra Fundraising

With Bonterra Fundraising’s unified database, all of the data you have about your supporters is stored in one place, from contributions to online actions to their stories.

Story Collection forms are mobile-optimized to increase conversion rates and provide an easy-to-use interface for your storytellers. All the information that you store can be reported on, so you can build complex segmentation strategies, targeted lists, and searches. And there’s even a mobile app for when you’re on the go! With these tools, you’ll be on your way to an improved donor engagement strategy in no time.

Story Collection is a feature of Digital.

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  • Nonprofits
  • Digital communications & marketing