How to Connect With Donors Through Visual Storytelling
Do you ever find yourself overwhelmed by the amount of information online that is clamoring for your attention? Chances are, the answer to this question is yes. Because of this, nonprofits are finding it increasingly hard for their organization to stand out in such a crowded field, and they are searching for unique ways to shine. Storytelling is one critical key to a nonprofit's fundraising success, but with attention spans decreasing and people having less time to read stories, visual storytelling is rapidly gaining in popularity.
In this article, we are going to take a closer look at what visual storytelling is, why it is important, how nonprofits can use visual content to reach and exceed fundraising goals, and the ways that digital signage can help you master visual storytelling and make a strong connection with your donors.
Defining Visual Storytelling
Donors love feeling a connection to the people that their gifts are impacting, and one way for nonprofits to help form this connection is through storytelling. But the most successful nonprofits are mastering visual storytelling, which puts more emphasis on making a strong, personal connection with donors.
Visual storytelling is simply sharing a narrative or important information through rich visuals so that it leaves a lasting impression on the audience. Many studies show that people respond more quickly to images and videos, which is one reason why infographics are more commonly seen on social media instead of plain written content.
Not only do images and video make a strong first impression, but donors are also more likely to retain information learned from the visual stories presented to them. Now that we know what visual storytelling is, let's dive deeper into why it is crucial to a nonprofit’s success.
The Importance of Visual Storytelling
With visual storytelling, a nonprofit has the opportunity to scale down large and detailed stories into smaller and more comprehensible stories filled with descriptive visuals for their audience, particularly donors and prospective donors. Using a visual narrative makes the stories as creative, modern, and relevant for readers as they can be, grabbing their attention and inspiring them to do more to help your cause.
Why Visual Storytelling Is Significant to Donor Relations
For any thriving nonprofit, mastering storytelling techniques is one secret to successful marketing. Sharing stories of your organization's impact and putting it out there in front of a broad audience is a great way to ensure donor retention, acquire new donors, meet or exceed fundraising goals, recruit volunteers, and even attract attention from news outlets. Creating visual stories that tug at the heartstrings and tell real stories about real people strengthens your message and increases donor affinity, leading your nonprofit to form solid and lasting donor relationships.
How Nonprofits Use Visual Storytelling
Because storytelling is such a powerful way to make an emotional connection with donors, nonprofits choose to use it as a marketing tactic to build on their relationships and reach prospective donors. Stories, especially ones using a visual medium, motivate an audience to take action by giving, volunteering, or sharing with their network on social media, and there are several ways to leverage these stories.
When you are in the process of creating your story, there are a few important points to take into consideration. First, examine who your target audience is, then think about how you want your audience to feel while reading the story, and make sure you are relaying a problem and solution. Finally, consider how you are going to share your stories, such as by email, newsletter, or social media.
Instead of simply focusing on telling a story with written text and worrying about capturing the audience’s attention, opt instead for video marketing or using exciting images to reel your audience in. And visual storytelling isn’t just about images and video, it can include graphs or charts with real numbers, showing the impact that your organization is making.
Finally, don’t feel obligated to only share stories from those who were impacted by your work, also reach out to a long-term donor and ask them to share their story. Request that your donors speak about what your organization means to them and why they are motivated to continue to give. Doing this will lead to donor retention, and it’s a great way to spread the word about your cause.
Visual Storytelling & Fundraising
All stories help donors connect with the work of a nonprofit, but visual stories have a stronghold when it comes to relaying the impact of a donor’s gift on a mission or cause. Because of the compelling graphics that are used, visual stories have a powerful way of convincing donors of the need for a nonprofit to function and carry out its work.
Like the majority of nonprofits, you probably have a multitude of stories to share, but the key is choosing the most persuasive stories for your target audience, the ones that shine the spotlight on the significance of your work.
For example, if you recently completed a campaign that raised money for underprivileged children in the Caribbean, share graphics of how much you raised and where the money went, and then share videos or images of the children whose lives were improved by your work. The visuals shared to tell this story will encourage donors to continue to give, and maybe even increase their gift size so you have a far greater impact.
Using Digital Donor Walls to Tell Visual Stories
A digital donor wall is an excellent tool to utilize when it comes to telling visual stories. A donor recognition wall is a must-have for any nonprofit that strives to give their donors the proper recognition they deserve, but those boring traditional walls encased in glass panels are things of the past. Nonprofits are now opting for the more modern and dynamic digital walls, but these can be used for so much more than being incorporated into a donor recognition project.
With these state-of-the-art, touch screen, modern material donor walls, you can easily create and edit your graphic design, reflecting your brand and mission. This sleek wall design is sure to grab the attention of anyone who walks through your organization's doors. Digital donor walls also offer you the chance to showcase your donors, advertise capital campaigns and campaign progress, and so much more.
Sharing visual stories on digital donor walls is a brilliant way to embark on content marketing because you have the opportunity to educate your audience, especially prospective donors, on what you do. With your digital donor wall, you can present videos, images, graphs, and any other compelling graphic you choose to tell your story.
OmniAlly’s digital donor wall solution can also act as a virtual wall, making it accessible to everyone who visits your website! Whenever you want to make an edit or update your digital or virtual wall, it can be done quickly and easily at the click of a button. Digital donor walls are the perfect tool for visual storytelling.
Visual storytelling is an innovative and compelling way to share with your donors the impact of their gift and how your nonprofit is carrying out its mission. When searching for the right tool to use to tell these stories, digital donor walls offer all you need to do so, serving as much more than donor recognition displays.
Digital donor walls can showcase impact stories from those whose lives have been changed by your work using videos and images, and they allow your audience to learn about your mission and hear directly from the donors who are motivated to give to your nonprofit. Apply visual storytelling to your marketing plan, and watch as you forge stronger relationships with your donors and go beyond your fundraising goals.
Are you interested in learning more about how OmniAlly can help you with visual storytelling? Contact us and request a demo today!
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About the author: Holley Snaith
Holley Snaith is a writer with 5+ years’ experience in the nonprofit sector. She began her career in the industry at the Eleanor Roosevelt Center in Hyde Park, managing the annual Girls’ Leadership Worldwide program. At the Richard Nixon Foundation, Holley served as a Development Associate, overseeing donor relations and working with the team to close major capital campaigns. She holds a Master’s in Public Administration with a certificate in Leadership in Public Service and Nonprofit Administration.