Community Storytelling for Nonprofits (UGC)

Posted on December 21st, 2022
Community Storytelling for Nonprofits

What is Nonprofit Community Storytelling

Community storytelling is a beneficial practice for nonprofits looking to engage with donors, volunteers, staff, beneficiaries, and other stakeholders. By collecting and sharing user generated content (UGC) – such as stories, testimonials, photos, and videos – organizations can showcase the real-time impact of their work and build a sense of community and connection with supporters.

Nonprofits should collect community stories as a way to showcase the real-time impact of their work and engage with donors and volunteers. These stories offer a more authentic and personal look at the work of the organization and can help to build trust and credibility with supporters. In addition, stories have the ability to evoke strong emotions, which can be a powerful motivator for people to get involved and support the organization.

Compared to reviews, which can provide valuable feedback and insights, stories offer a deeper, more emotional connection to the nonprofit and its work. Reviews can be helpful for understanding how an organization is perceived and identifying areas for improvement, but stories provide a more in-depth look at the difference the organization is making. By sharing community stories, nonprofits can effectively showcase the impact of their work and help donors and volunteers feel more connected to the cause. Overall, collecting and sharing community stories is important for nonprofits looking to engage with supporters and make a lasting impact.

Timely Collection of Community Stories

One key aspect of community storytelling is the importance of timely story collection. Stories are a form of UGC that share the experiences and impact of donors, volunteers, and others with an organization. By collecting stories in a timely manner and through a good user experience, nonprofits can effectively share authentic stories as well as tell the stories of their work and the difference they are making. This helps to build trust and credibility with potential donors, volunteers, and other community members as they can see the impact of their contributions firsthand.

User Generated Content for Nonprofits is Cost Effective

In addition to the credibility and authenticity that UGC provides, it can also be a cost-effective marketing tool for nonprofits. Rather than investing in expensive advertising campaigns, community storytelling allows organizations to leverage the voices and experiences of their supporters to spread their message and reach a wider audience.

But community storytelling isn’t just about marketing and credibility – it can also be a powerful way to engage with community members. By sharing UGC on social media and other channels, nonprofits can create a sense of community and connection with their supporters. This can be especially important for organizations that rely on volunteers, as it helps to foster a sense of belonging and purpose.

Humanize Marketing with UGC

Emotion plays a major role in philanthropy and volunteerism, and community storytelling has the ability to tap into those emotions. Whether it’s a heartwarming photo of a child being helped by a nonprofit, or a moving video selfie from a volunteer about the impact of their work, UGC has the ability to evoke strong emotions in donors and volunteers. This emotional connection can be a powerful motivator for people to get involved and support an organization. User-generated content is not polished and branded videos, those have their place. Rather, community stories in the form of user generated content are raw, authentic, approachable, and relatable pieces of content that your organization can lean on to humanize marketing.

It is important for nonprofits to continually engage with community members in order to maintain strong relationships and create real relationships. This can involve a variety of activities, but collecting and sharing community stories is a form of active listening and engagement. People like feeling heard and knowing that their story matters.

Community Storytelling is Ongoing

Story collection is ongoing and not a one-time event because building a community is not a one-and-done campaign. As the organization continues to make a difference in the community, it is important to have systems in place that regularly collect and share new stories that showcase the impact of that work. This helps to keep supporters informed and engaged with the organization’s mission and goals. Additionally, regularly collecting and sharing new stories can help to keep the organization top-of-mind with supporters and encourage them to continue supporting the cause.

Overall, ongoing engagement with community members is essential for nonprofits looking to build and maintain strong relationships and a community around their mission. By continually collecting and sharing community stories, organizations can effectively showcase the impact of their work and engage with supporters in a meaningful way.

Why Community Storytelling for Nonprofits (Recap)

If you’re a nonprofit looking to boost your engagement and impact, there are several reasons why your nonprofit should consider incorporating community storytelling into your outreach and marketing efforts.

  1. Community storytelling builds trust and credibility with donors and volunteers.
  2. Sharing authentic stories highlights the real-time difference a nonprofit is making in the community.
  3. Community storytelling can be a cost-effective marketing initiative.
  4. Community storytelling can help engage and retain donors and volunteers.
  5. Community storytelling builds and strengthens a nonprofit’s community.

If your nonprofit is interested in building a strong sense of community, raising awareness within your community, and engaging your existing community, start by asking for stories at the right time. Not sure when the right time is? Contact us! We have built a platform that focuses on solid user experiences for nonprofit supporters that helps nonprofits collect stories, engage those storytellers in real-time, and socialize stories collected as social proof!

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