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

Get the Music Right and the Hearts and Minds Will Follow

“Whoever controls the music controls the mood of the room.” That’s one of my favorite aphorisms shared by auto-didact marketing genius Roy Williams during Alia’s and my visit to Wizard Academy a year or two ago. “Music can pierce the heart directly; it needs no mediation,” wrote Oliver Sacks in a book he devoted to… 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

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