Getting a story: What questions to ask

Interviewing is an art. Just listen to Ira, Terry, Brian and other storytellers and journalists who tell stories for a living. Fundraisers also tell stories for a living. But we sometimes stumble on what questions to ask. I’m leading a storytelling training in DC today and I put together this list of questions that follows the… Read more

I’m in Congo: Here’s why

I’m in the Democratic Republic of Congo with Population Services International, a Sea Change client. I am leading a three-day training with their field staff on why stories are important for fundraising, how to identify the right types, the essential building blocks of story and how to write them to get more funding. We’ve designed… Read more

Who is your chief storyteller?

Who in your organization is responsible for telling your stories? Your Communications Director? Your Development Director? Your Digital Content Manager? Your Grant Writer? Storytelling is so central to donor engagement and brand building, there must clearly be someone in charge of it. This person doesn’t have to find all the stories — that’s the job… Read more

Potty Talk: Make Your Story Stand Out

I decided to tell a story about someone who had to pee – really badly. Funny premise, right? And something we can all relate to, no doubt. But how can that be relevant to a client or issue? Hang with me a moment. I was with Mark and we were training a small group of… Read more

The three simple elements of a story: Take them to 11

Stories are — at their core — very simple. They need: A relatable character (AKA the protagonist) A desire the protagonist wants Conflict and obstacles that get in the way of the protagonist getting what they want Of course, on top of these basics, storytellers weave in advanced techniques like point of view, subplots, time… Read more

Your Brain on Story

Alia and I have been doing these storytelling workshops all over the country for more than a year now. And we’re always scouring the Internet for great examples, sage advice, and other media to bolster our key point, which is this: Fundraising is based primarily on emotion and there is no better key to emotion… Read more