Storytelling. It’s an art. It’s a science.
It’s about sharing the story of a person or an initiative in a way that people connect with. Good storytelling combines key ingredients: a character, an obstacle to be overcome, a resolution. It draws you in and makes you walk alongside the character, experiencing the journey along with them.
The question is: how does a non-profit communicate its story without spending too much time, money, or energy on the process of capturing the story? Or of getting the story out there?
What tools exist to help communicate the work being done – and the stories of those accessing services and making change?
The great news is there are several great resources online that are free (or low cost).
Canva.com: easy-to-use graphic design software with a free option that meets the basic needs of most non-profits and small businesses. Free templates, free (or low cost) photos, and the option to upgrade to access more resources. I highly recommend it.
Pixabay.com: great source of free-to-use photos for commercial purposes. I source most of my images from Pixabay and have found that the range of photos available is quite diverse.
Lumen5.com: a simple video tool that takes your content, breaks it into small sections, and “guesses” what images work with the words. It requires some practice in terms of images, layout, and music, but it’s free. For me, it has shifted my focus away from videos of myself (although I’m sure I could use it for that as well) to videos that incorporate the ideas I want to communicate visually.
An online search will unveil others you can use that range from photo editing, infographics, fundraising, and so on. Spend some time exploring how these can help you with your storytelling and how a simple shift in your approach can change the engagement you have with your audience.
After you’ve played with these tools, let us know which you prefer and why. I’m sure other readers will appreciate your feedback and any other gems that you find. Happy storytelling!