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How a story can raise a charity’s reputation and lead to business success

By Ruth Peacock, Sep 17 2017 05:19PM

Charities often fail to leverage their greatest asset - their stories. Good storytelling can make a real difference to the way charities and social enterprises are seen by funders and beneficiaries alike. Told in the right way, stories can bring an enhanced reputation, business stability and growth.

For this reason I have teamed up with Dr Darrell Jaya Ratnam to lead a training course for charities who may need help in storytelling and using stories to chart success in a difficult business environment.

As a journalist with many years’ experience of working in and with charities, I am used to seeing responsibility and huge volumes of work shouldered by a small number of staff and volunteers. It is not unusual for one person to perform multiple roles, learning as they go along.

Many people are frightened of the media and need confidence in understanding what their story is and how to tell it – on what platform, to which people and when. Journalists are hungry for stories and if you understand what they are looking for, you will be able to achieve coverage.

But stories are more than simply means to attract media attention. They sum up your work and vision in a more powerful way than statements or reports ever could. People who have been helped, problems that have been solved, small teams punching way above their weight – the human stories of endeavour and challenges overcome, demonstrate the impact of a charity’s work.

My course with Darrell, hosted by the Media Trust, involves giving knowledge, guidance and advice on the basics of communication – who what why where and when? But there are also three practical workshops, where participants will be given the tools and skills to determine where they tell the story, to whom and with what ambition and focus.

We’ve come up with a model for our proposal that it’s the way you tell your story that leads to success – the Corkscrew Effect. By working as a team, however small, your organization drills down into its strategic plan in a methodical way, making informed decisions to uncork the prize. A full blooded glass, rich with sound finance, great reputation and happy staff. Large glass please.

The Media Trust course ‘Using Stories to Grow your Charity’ is on Thursday October 5th at the Media Trust offices in White City. Sign up here: https://mediatrust.org/news-events/events/using-stories-to-grow-your-charity/

At the end of your training you will:-

-Identify more focused key messages

-Have greater understanding of how to adapt and apply stories for maximum effect

-Understand the tools and techniques available to help you develop stories that will build reputation and growth

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