Ditch the Guilt Trips: How to Tell Empowering Nonprofit Stories with Diana Heinrich

The Small Nonprofit

05-03-2024 • 40 mins

Why do those "big nonprofits" use those emotional, tear-jerking stories? Well, it's complicated and has a long history. But today, we are sharing a much better (and more ethical) way to inspire donors.  We're debunking harmful fundraising and storytelling myths to give you the tools to tell dignifies stories that get results.

My guest is the brilliant Diana Farias Heinrich, the CEO of Habrá Marketing. Diana is passionate about helping nonprofits share their work in ways that empower both clients and donors. With certifications in DEI and as an Advocate for Survivors of Domestic Violence, she brings essential expertise to our sector. We talk about the long-term harm of those guilt-driven appeals, how to build trust with clients, and the transformative power of letting people share their stories on their own terms.

Key Episode Highlights:

  • Stop using "poverty porn" narratives. Data shows people will give, but they won't stick around. Focus on the transformative power of your services – showcase the positive impact you're making!
  • Clients deserve agency over their own stories. Informed consent conversations lay out exactly how a story will be used and the client's right to change their mind, giving a sense of control and safety within the process.
  • Ask open-ended questions, not leading ones. Avoid retraumatization when interviewing. Instead of asking how terrible their situation was was, focus on what they did with your services and how things changed.
  • Humanizing builds bridges. Portraying clients as more than just service users. Discuss their dreams, families, even fun facts – it helps donors see themselves in those your work serves.
  • Ethical storytelling = better organizational culture. These practices foster communication between programs and fundraising, and ultimately benefit everyone, including your mission!

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Watch this episode on Youtube: https://youtu.be/RKLqPgUfzgE

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