The Importance of Storytelling in the Nonprofit Sector

Adam J. Cheshier
6 min readJul 16, 2020

The best communicators are always the ones not with the best stories, but the ones who know how to tell a story best. Think of the great communicators you know personally. They are probably mostly telling stories to attract an audience. That’s what captivates viewers’ attention the most.

Stories affect people’s emotions, actions, and behaviors. Stories get into people’s minds in a way that no other means of communication can.

As humans, it is our tendency to react to stories. We tend to remember a good story for much longer than facts and figures which is what makes good storytelling special.

Oral language was one of the first forms of interpersonal communication, generally used to tell stories past from which we learned from the experiences of others.

When we hear facts and figures, only a part of our brain activates, but when we hear a story, many other parts of the mind come alive, such as emotion.

As a result, storytelling becomes a great strategy for fundraising, raising awareness, mobilizing volunteers, building trust, and much more. This is a great tool for businesses and, especially, nonprofit organizations that deal with the “business” of telling stories in a world-changing way.

Most nonprofit organizations have all components necessary to tell a captivating, heart-throbbing, motivating story right at their fingertips but lack the know-how and wherewithal to piece the puzzle together into something potential donors care about.

Let’s take a closer look at why storytelling can be so effective in charity.

Why is it important to tell stories?

Let’s take a look at why storytelling should be an integral part of your organization’s marketing plans.

Stories create context

Stories create context, give meaning and purpose, and help us to connect and empathize.

Therefore, your nonprofit should use storytelling as a regular part of its content plan.



Adam J. Cheshier

Documenting obscure pockets of the world across long-distance overland expeditions. Recently celebrated 7 years of nomadism.