Honors: All College Participants

Title

Nonprofit Storytelling: Framing the Message for Compelling Communication

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Nonprofit Leadership Studies; Public Relations

Minor

Organizational Communication

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Peter Weber

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

Effectively communicating mission, values and social impact within the nonprofit sector is a complex task that can reflect on and shape organizational success. This research explores storytelling as a communication technique by developing best practices and writing advocates’ stories for nonprofit organizations associated with the United Way of Murray-Calloway County. Storytelling develops empathy and allows organizations to share success stories, acting as a springboard for future constituent and stakeholder engagement. By capturing the personal experiences of individuals, it provides evidence of organizational impact in ways that statistics cannot, and supports the organizations’ overall activities by improving fundraising, developing a brand and raising awareness. By drawing on a variety of sources from both practitioners and academics, this thesis identifies best practices for developing effective approaches to storytelling. The stories developed in the framework of this thesis focus on the specific impact each nonprofit organization has had on the advocate’s life, featuring the personal experiences of employees, volunteers and clients. The stories exemplify different approaches to storytelling depending on the nature of each advocate’s experience and align with the best practices of this research. The impact of these stories is analyzed using Facebook metrics and analytics tools to determine potential implications of storytelling through social media channels.

Location

Classroom 211, Waterfield Library

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Affiliations

Honors Thesis

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Nov 16th, 9:00 AM Nov 6th, 12:30 PM

Nonprofit Storytelling: Framing the Message for Compelling Communication

Classroom 211, Waterfield Library

Effectively communicating mission, values and social impact within the nonprofit sector is a complex task that can reflect on and shape organizational success. This research explores storytelling as a communication technique by developing best practices and writing advocates’ stories for nonprofit organizations associated with the United Way of Murray-Calloway County. Storytelling develops empathy and allows organizations to share success stories, acting as a springboard for future constituent and stakeholder engagement. By capturing the personal experiences of individuals, it provides evidence of organizational impact in ways that statistics cannot, and supports the organizations’ overall activities by improving fundraising, developing a brand and raising awareness. By drawing on a variety of sources from both practitioners and academics, this thesis identifies best practices for developing effective approaches to storytelling. The stories developed in the framework of this thesis focus on the specific impact each nonprofit organization has had on the advocate’s life, featuring the personal experiences of employees, volunteers and clients. The stories exemplify different approaches to storytelling depending on the nature of each advocate’s experience and align with the best practices of this research. The impact of these stories is analyzed using Facebook metrics and analytics tools to determine potential implications of storytelling through social media channels.