Using stories is essential for all development work. Donors connect with stories often more than they connect with anything else. If you have a donor that is not involved as a volunteer, their most powerful connection to your organization will be the stories that you share.
Use stories differently with annual fund donors than with major gifts donors. When you are cultivating $100 gifts and reaching out to a crowd you need to tell lots of stories. Take the time to share lots of different stories that talk from many different perspectives. Use video and pictures to make these stories more meaningful and relevant to your audience. Work with your marketing department when creating annual fund stories so they are polished and persuasive. The most important thing to remember when creating stories for crowd consumption is that you need to be able to have fresh relevant content. This means that you need to have a good pipeline of receiving and publishing new stories.
When you reach out and engage with your major donors your use of stories are going to be different. These stories need to be personal. Because you are talking with these donors individually and often in-person telling someone else’s story has less meaning. It is important that you are able to convey the mission of your organization using stories that have been a part of your experience with the organization. If you do tell someone else’s story, make sure to tell that story from your perspective.