Storytelling is an ancient practice that’s been passed down the generations, from before the
written word to our current digitally-driven platforms.
How can this ancient practice serve nonprofits whose survival depends on the actions of others, whether they be funders or volunteers? For one, it puts a face on the issue and shows that you’re talking about real humans. While data is important for showing reach and impact, studies tell us people don’t identify with numbers – they don’t donate, petition, volunteer, or sign up for a newsletter because they saw a big number. Human emotions – what drives people’s behaviors – are triggered by stories.
Numerous books and studies have come out over the years about the importance of telling
stories. Wired for Story is a bible for many communicators charged with driving behavior
change among constituents. The Storytelling Animal is another. As Bruce Wydick, author and
economist, wrote, “…In the battle for hearts and minds of human beings, narrative will
consistently outperform data in its ability to influence human thinking and motivate human