Posted by Jay Wilkinson

As a nonprofit, you have a wonderful opportunity to convey your mission on your website through powerful stories about the people you impact.

Donors are generally more inspired to give for emotional reasons than logical ones, and telling stories that stir the heart gives your website the human factor that supporters are attracted to.

Here are four easy guidelines for writing a story that not only engages and inspires, but also supports the message you want the world to hear.

1. Find something worth writing about.
Not everything that happens in your nonprofit is a story worth sharing on your website. You should save the prime real estate on your site for the most inspirational stories. What should you look for? A compelling event that accomplished something big or served the community. A heartwarming tale about someone you’ve helped. A volunteer who went above and beyond.

Find stories that evoke emotion, celebrate changed lives, illustrate your mission or inspire people to support your cause.

2. Keep the main point the main point.
It’s easy to get off track when we tell stories, especially if there are several people involved or lots of details to cover. Just keep asking yourself, what’s the one message I want to convey? Whether you’re writing a blog post, creating a video or updating a donation page with a quick snippet, always stay focused. You’ll be much more effective if you keep it simple.

3. Find real-life anecdotes that tap into emotions.
Don’t expect stories to just fall from the sky—sometimes you have to dig a little to find the real gems. Take the time to talk to volunteers, employees, board members and people you’ve served. Be inquisitive, ask questions and look for great accounts of how people’s lives have been changed and your community has been impacted.

4. Last but not least, proofread.
Better yet, have someone else read your story before it’s published. You want to catch grammatical and spelling errors, yes. But also ask, “does it have a clear beginning, middle and end? Is any information missing? Do you get the main point?” Even the professionals make revisions, rewrite and then rewrite again.

I know your nonrpofit has some stories to share. You just need to take the time to unearth them and put them together in a compelling fashion. And your website is the best platform for this. It’s the perfect place to tug on people’s heartstrings and make them fall in love with your cause and the people you serve.