Make Your Story Your Members’ Story

John Haydon had a nice, short post on his blog recently about using infographics to help tell stories. I’m a big fan of infographics, and if you use them or are considering doing so, his five tips for you are great.

But the post also makes an excellent point about all nonprofit and association communications, not just infographics. He says:

"When you tell the story of your cause, you need to show how supporters ultimately create the outcomes"





That’s it, isn’t it – that bit that I highlighted? Your members need the power of the group to work for them. What’s more, the work that you do is only possible because of your members’ support. So your successes are their successes.

Those of us who work with nonprofits and associations need to make sure we find every opportunity to make sure our members and supporters know this. We shouldn’t just communicate what we do, or the importance of what we do; we need to communicate that our members make these successes possible.

Isn’t that a powerful message? Who doesn’t want to be empowered to accomplish something important?

Think about it in terms of, say, an annual report. Your message: By supporting us, YOU have done everything that we did this year. You have:

  • Helped elect these leaders to government office.
  • Sent alerts to keep your colleagues and/or the public informed about important issues.
  • Provided CE to help members of your profession continue to grow and improve their skills.
  • Trained future leaders of your profession or your cause to prepare to take the reins and carry your work into the future.

Your videos, your newsletters, your membership materials can all help deliver this message. Wouldn’t that be a great way to make members want to think of themselves as part of your organization?

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