The 5 Benefits of Community-led Storytelling

Why it will work for you too.
Below we explain why we are fan of community storytelling. But hold on a second: does this mean we think fundraising communications specialists should quit their jobs? Absolutely not! While community based specialists are experts in their region, fundraising specialists know how to talk to their audiences best. We believe that the most powerful campaigns are created when those two elements cooperate.

Empowerment & Ownership

Community communicators represent their community like no outsider can. What is the story the community wants to tell about themselves? The identity they want the outside world to see?

Giving the supported community ownership of their story is a sign of respect and will encourage empowerment.

Let the community tell what the support of your donors does for them. Let them give back in their own way.

If you ask a journalist: ‘Where did you find that great story?’ often times you will hear: ‘at the neighbourhood barbecue’ or ‘at my child’s school there was a mother that…’ etc..

The best story finders keep their eyes and ears open all the time.

For community communicators, the same principle applies: they are the eyes and ears of your organization. They are part of the community, go to that training you provided, hear the staff member in the local office share about the amazing meeting he just had.

The local specialist has the space and opportunity to dive into each of these leads and find out which ones might work great for a campaign.

Community storytellers make stories more human. The ‘sad boy with a fly in his eye’ is not a ‘good fundraising picture’ for them, it’s the son of their neighbor.

Enhanced Story Finding

Powerful Stories

While the world is becoming a global village more and more, differences in language and/or culture create a certain distance between a fundraising communicator and a local beneficiary.

A community communicator can bridge this gap, during acquisition trips, beforehand or during the production of the final product. Apart from bridging any cultural misunderstandings, they can build a relationship of trust which allows the beneficiary to speak about their situation in more depth.

The trust relationship with the community communicator will also help vulnerable beneficiaries to speak up when they don’t feel comfortable during an interview or shoot, helping the organization with the do no harm principle.

‘If it happened today it should have been on your socials yesterday’: The world is getting used to receiving information in a faster pace then ever. Social media accounts have become one of the most important channels of communication with donors and supporters. As a non-profit you need more content, and you need it to be more timely then ever before. A community communicator  is unmissable here: they can respond quickly to any news, big and small that might interest the supporters. From an informational update about the emergency relief in a warzone, to a cute video of singing children at the opening of the school your organization built.

Quick Turnaround

Cost Effective

Every non-profit wants to work as cost effectively as possible: the more money that goes towards beneficiaries, the better. Community communicators  can do a lot of the work that otherwise would require an external staff member to travel. Local communications specialists also make the work that is done by fundraising communications specialists on acquisition trips more effective, saving time and money.

Finding qualified staff in developing regions can be a struggle. ‘Communications’ isn’t a popular course in all areas of the world. As an organization you need to invest in the knowledge and skills of your local communications staff. This can be done by your fundraising communications specialists, or you can hire an external party like Story Bridge to do it for you.