My partner in communications crime, Richelle Morgan, knows how powerful storytelling can be for nonprofits. Her 5 Keys of Storytelling posts for ARC help any organization unlock the power of stories for fundraising and engaging donors, board members and employees . My post today uses those five keys to deconstruct a direct-mail letter and understand how they work to create vivid, memorable stories that inspire and motivate your audience.

The power of stories lies in their ability to connect emotionally. For that reason, video can take your storytelling to a new level. These are just four examples of what any organization – no matter the size or cause – can do with video storytelling.

Red Cross


Nancy’s House

Student Alliance Project

A final word about production. Don’t be deterred by the technical polish some groups can afford. Just pick up a video camera (or even your smartphone). Or talk to a staff member, volunteer or community partner who can lend a hand. Your video doesn’t have to have Oscar-quality production; it just has to tell your best, most moving story.