How to anchor your digital projects with storytelling

Let’s talk home improvement for a minute.

When you're attaching something to drywall, such as a piece of art or a shelf, you can use plastic anchors to make a stronger connection. But while they’re inexpensive and can often get the job done, plastic anchors aren’t the best option for bigger projects; they can break under too much pressure and leave you with a gaping hole in your wall. For the heavy stuff, you need a toggle bolt, which is a metal hinged thing that you push through the drywall. It pops open inside and then you tighten it against the backside of the wall. It's really strong.

Image courtesy Global Equipment Company Inc.

Image courtesy Global Equipment Company Inc.

As I was replacing a shelf with toggle bolts in my house this week, I started thinking about how digital tactics are like the plastic anchors of your strategy and how authentic, donor-centric stories are the toggle bolts.

We had the great privilege to do some awesome work with Make-A-Wish this week. See3's Director of Engagement Miriam Brosseau and I spent a few days in Phoenix facilitating a multi-day workshop for the national office and 14 chapters to reimagine the organization’s signature event, Walk for Wishes, and plan for significant growth.

Rather than build the overall vision for the event from tactics such as social media posts or celebrity endorsements, we had our diverse group focus on participant-centric storytelling. From the perspective of the Walk for Wishes participants we explored the concepts of Knowing, Doing, Believing and Belonging. By understanding our audience, we can design experiences that lead to the intended outcomes. We didn't get too distracted by the tactical considerations that get layered on top.

How are you using powerful, mission-aligned storytelling to grow your programs? Let's talk about that together.

Author: Michael Hoffman
Tags:
  • Storytelling
  • donor retention
  • Strategy
  • Content
  • audiences
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