How to Use Storytelling to Drive Funds to your Project

How to Use Storytelling to Drive Funds to your Project

Magy Kaleynska is a current GlobalGiving Ambassador for Bulgaria. Our amazing Ambassadors are individuals who work at one of our nonprofit partners that apply to represent GlobalGiving in their respective countries for a year. They foster and grow their nonprofit community through activities such as hosting workshops, meet-ups of local GlobalGiving partners, and conducting site visits. Magy shared the following insights with us. 

GlobalGiving believes that the most effective organizations are learning organizations and thus our team puts great effort in helping you learn faster by engaging in the continuous cycle of progress: Listening, Acting, Learning, and Repeating. One of the most import cycles is the storytelling one as it is the one feedback tool that can actually lead to receiving more funds and finding more supporters for your project, both here on GlobalGiving and in your work in general.

What is storytelling?

Storytelling is a method of explaining a series of events through narrative. It permits you to collect the feedback from the members of a community on specific aspects of their lives. In such a way storytelling helps you define better the needs and problems of the community you are working in and gives you a deeper insights of the dynamics of the process in it.  The collections of stories is based on a brief questionnaire that is applied for all people interviewed. It can be done through written completion by the interviewees themselves online or on paper, written completion by project assistants or orally on video or audio recording. In this way stories are kept authentic. As such they are more relatable and inspire an emotional reaction in an audience.

The most important benefits of storytelling are:

  • Helps you better understand the communities where you work and the root causes of complex social problems you may be working to address;
  • Allow you to plan more effective and on-time measures to overcoming existing problems by better understanding the communities;
  • Makes your project more valid as it is based on the needs of the communities;
  • Fundraise easier as the natural voice of someone in your community could make the message stronger.

How GlobalGiving helps you collect your stories:

GlobalGiving helps you build a brief, customizable questionnaire directly online and to collect the answers through the tool created especially for your needs. Note that the stories can be recorded directly online if your community is technologically-savvy, or they can be told verbally and recorded on paper. If you collect the stories on paper, we also help you train volunteers in your community (we call scribes) to go out and gather stories. After the scribes collect the stories, you scan them, or take photos with your cellphone or digital camera, then send them to GlobalGiving and they input them electronically. In this way GlobalGiving, through its Storytelling Project, enables you to collect community feedback on a grand scale, in a cost-effective way, and plug into sophisticated analysis tools.

Starting is easy. You can visit the tool here. From this link, you will have the chance to start collecting stories. In the form you will find a detailed long list of questions that define the story. The idea of the tool however is to create short stories – a two pages maximum is set for each story. So go through all the questions and choose only those that best relate to your organization’s aims. To make sure you profit of all two pages questions you still have room for appear yellow. Note that as you choose more questions, some will become unavailable. If you want to add another question that is not available, you’ll have to deselect one or more questions you’ve already chosen. At the end you can easily reorder the questions simply by dragging them into the desired position.

To resume, storytelling on GlobalGiving has multiple advantages:

  • Easy to manage
  • By collecting your data on this shared platform, you get instant analysis with internal and peer organization bench-marking.
  • Helps you propose a stronger argument to funders, and tell a more honest and compelling story to GlobalGiving donors.
  • Your participation will improve your visibility and reputation on GlobalGiving, regardless of whether the stories are glowing praise or critical of your organization’s work.
  • It will bring GlobalGiving effectiveness reward points to your organization.

Ready to start storytelling? The tool is waiting for you here.

Reach out to us with any questions you may have at! 

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