The Story of Your Non-Profit

by Joe Garecht

Robert the Bruce

How well are you telling your non-profit’s story?

No… I’m not talking about that boilerplate “History of our Organization” that you have on your website.  And I’m certainly not referring to the mission statement that committee of your board members hammered out 15 years ago.

I’m talking about story, in its truest sense…  Good.  Evil.  Heroes.  Villains.  Adventures.  Conquests.  Battles lost.  Battles won.

Wait… you don’t think your organization has a story like that?  Let me assure that it could… that it should, if you would let it.

You see, we human beings, we like to think in terms of stories.  There’s something about them that speaks to the innermost part of our being.  We like to get caught up stories… and not just any stories, but big stories.  We like to get caught up in stories and adventures bigger than ourselves, to join together for a common goal and a common good.

These stories have heroes, who fight clearly on the side of the good and right and just, and villains (who may be people, but could be organizations, diseases, or bad situations) that are squarely on the side of wrong.

We all want to be part of a story.

Your non-profit has a story like that… or it could.  So, I’ll ask again: how well are you telling your non-profit’s story?

Who is the villain in your story?  Is it a disease you are fighting to eradicate?  Bad schools for our children?  Hunger?  Hopelessness?

As for the hero of your story, well… it’s you!  Your non-profit, and your team.  What makes you uniquely qualified to fight this fight, and win?

And the battles… what battles have there been?  When did the hero (your organization) win?  Where did you face setbacks?

Finally… what comes next in the story?  What is the plan that will lead your heroes to final victory over the bad guys?  And… this is key… what resources will you need?  How much money will you need to raise?

Now… make your ask.  The stage has been set.  The story told.  All that remains is for others (your prospects) to join your cause, to stand on the side of right and good.  And all that requires from them is a simple “yes.”

Every non-profit, no matter how small or large, can think bigger about their story.  It doesn’t matter if you’re raising endowments for a major university or collecting coins from schoolchildren to fight homelessness on the streets of your town.  You can tell an amazing (and true) story that casts a vision that your donors will want to get caught up in.

So, what are you waiting for?  Go be the hero of your non-profit’s story.

 

Photo Credit: delphwynd

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Molly Young January 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm

I loved your article, thank you for sharing your thoughts.. Here is my story to why my husband and I started our Foundation a couple months back. http://www.FlutterByIzzyJaneFoundation.org/our-story/

Molly

My Sweet baby girl IzzyJane, you came into this world “sleeping”

You were born with a silent heart, while mine is trying to keep beating. You and I were a team for 41 weeks, and it came to end way to soon.

We went in to the doctors thinking we would get to take you home with us, that was until we found out that your heart was no longer beating.

We will always wonder why it turned out this way, because I know you miss me as much as I miss you! We might toss and turn, trying to figure it out why an umbilical cord can create a life, and then take it away, but I do know that there are no answers cause you are perfectly beautiful. Your spirit gave me purpose in life and I was so scared to have you come out of me and not have your spirit there. Your Dad was our savior, our strength, without him I don’t know if i could have done it. I will always wonder why they didn’t induce me at 40 weeks when we were still together.

When they did induce me I was in labor for 7 hours, our whole family was there trying to make me laugh, yet we were all breaking. Aunt Katie got inspired and bought us matching “Forever” bracelets. I wear mine everyday, as do you, You will forever be mine and I yours!

Then it came time to deliver you, I was crying knowing that you already been delivered into
the hands of God. I had dreamt about this moment every night and now it was so real yet so far gone to know that I wouldn’t hear your cries made my cries louder.

I some how got power and strength and was able to push you into the world. Words cannot even describe what a miracle giving birth is, it only took 30 minutes and then you were all mine to hold, to smell, and to see. I know you were with us in spirit, but oh IzzyJane, I wished a miracle could have brought you back to me!

Your body was so warm, your body was perfect, your face was absolutely gorgeous, your hands and feet were so precious!
I watched dad weigh you, and I was shocked that you weighed only 6lb 6oz because you looked so full and plump, yet you were so long and skinny. I guess you get both from me, a little plump but long!

The nurses were amazing, and set up a photographer to come and take pictures of our family. It was a spiritual moment, knowing we are a family yet your spirit is with our heavenly father.

We then had our family come in to greet you, the love that we all have for you is indescribable. We all took turns examining you, all is awe that you were created inside of me and so perfect.

You are truly a gift from God.

We got to have you all night, and the next day. we couldn’t sleep, yearning for these moments that we weren’t going to take home with us.

I cuddled you, held your hand, feeling how sweet your spirit is and holding on to every scent!
Dad took pictures of you all night, holding you on his chest, weeping. We even cut some of your long brown hair!

The next day we didn’t wake up from this nightmare, and the hours were slipping by so fast, I couldn’t bare to leave you. How could a mother and father leave their child? It was unbearable, even though we know you were with us.

We dressed you, swaddled you, and handed you to the nurse, and walked away empty. Ohhh how I dreamt of this all being different and the only hope I have is that I can do it all again. I now go through the days without you, yearning for you. I visit your resting place daily (as your cousin London calls it, Izzy’s Palace) and I feel you close, but it will never be the same without you!

You are my Joy, you are my light.

I will always feel a longing to hold you, hear you, see you, but I do know you are holding me, listening to me and watching over me. When I smile, I can see your smile, when I cry I know you are catching my tears, and when I talk to you I know you are listening. You will forever be mine!

I love you more than words can express.

Love,
Your momma (Molly Jane Young)

Elena November 20, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Dear Molly,
Thank you for sharing your beautiful story of sweet baby girl IzzyJane, it brought me tears and sadness when I read your story but also joy to know that you have Angel gift from God, IzzyJane Angel watching over YOU.

Blessings with Aloha,
Elena

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