Home  ›  Blog  ›  Nonprofit  ›  4 Storytelling No-Nos

At M&C, we’re happy to share tips for good storytelling and we usually focus on what should be done. At times, though, it’s also helpful to have reminders of what not to do.

As you tell your organization’s story, here are 4 big no-nos to be mindful of:

1. Complicated stories

If the reader can’t follow what’s going on in your story, then it won’t move them to act. Find a succinct, clear way to stir emotions and convey your message.

2. Made up stories

Don’t make up stories EVER. Don’t risk losing the trust of donors, members or those you serve. Your story should be compelling without having to embellish or invent details.

3. Bewildering readers with endless data

Similar to complicated stories, confusing or overwhelming the reader with data will hurt your chances of getting the result you want. Correlate large numbers to concrete concepts. Provide context. Give your reader something they can identify with. 

4. Burying your ask 

The reader should know what you want them to do. Your call to action should be clear and not lost in your copy. Find ways to incorporate a softer ask early in your copy to build the feeling of partnership if you don’t want to lead with a strong ask right off the bat. 

When you steer clear of these no-nos, you have a better opportunity to tell your organization’s story effectively and drive support for your mission.