Doogie Howser was on to something

Last week I sat in a room filled with hundreds of interesting stories. I attended the National Philanthropy Day Luncheon in Denver, Colorado, which is presented by the Colorado Nonprofit Association. This luncheon celebrates individuals, organizations and companies who demonstrate leadership by example in the spirit of philanthropy.

Despite the fact that only a dozen shared their personal road that led to recognition on stage, I couldn’t help but wonder, “What are the back stories of all these people in the audience who share a passion for creating change in the world?” In other words, we all have a story to tell. And my curiosity to hear all of them was a testament to the power of storytelling. An even greater demonstration of the love for narrative was the audience’s commitment to each recipient’s remarks. Everyone wants the ability to logically connect effort with desired outcomes, and we never tire of hearing how someone has made it happen.

In fact, CausePlanet’s featured author of The Nonprofit Marketing Guide, Kivi Leroux Miller, stresses the importance of storytelling in everything we do because stories generate authenticity and demonstrate transformative ideas and change in people. Additionally, author of Believe Me, Michael Margolis says, “We are hardwired to seek and make sense of the world through narratives. Anthropologists contend that 70 percent of everything we learn is through stories. Even as we grow into stubborn adults set in our ways, we fundamentally remain a storytelling species. This is just one of the reasons why 175,000 new blogs are started every day.”

If the storytelling two by four hasn’t hit you over the head yet, it’s time to get busy and figure out how to convey your worthy nonprofit efforts through storytelling. Doogie Howser was the first televised blogger when he ended every episode with an entry in his digital diary. If Doogie can do it, why can’t you?

Learn more about Kivi Leroux Miller’s The Nonprofit Marketing Guide or our current feature of Festen and Philbin’s book, Level Best.

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