To narrate is to provide a spoken or written account of an event or series of events.
As do-gooders, as those looking to have a positive impact on the world, and as nonprofit fundraisers — it is our responsibility to provide a spoken or written account of the situation, the problem, the programs or productions — the who, what, when, where, why and how of our mission.
The trick, though, is to ensure that — as narrator — we don’t drown out the voices of the active characters involved. Let’s not be afraid to let individuals narrate their own stories. Have you invited participants or program alums, volunteers, board members, staff, donors, or audience members to share their own stories related to your mission?
I’ve often seen animal rights organizations use personification to narrate from an animal’s perspective. Have you ever considered using such literary devices for inanimate objects — pieces of art in a museum, the window or wall of a historic monument, or the notes of a musical score — to tell a story?
Instead of simply telling people what you do as if you’re creating a laundry list or to-do list, try to narrate a story that draws the reader or listener into the world your organization inhabits. If I’m not there, I will struggle to understand and to care unless or until you paint a picture and help me feel as if I’m part of the story.
Originally published at https://jcobbconsulting.com on April 12, 2021.