Stories about giving to nonprofits are compelling and elicit high engagement online, according to an analysis of a nationwide storytelling contest. Last fall, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation sponsored a nationwide storytelling in partnership with #GivingTuesday. People could submit a story about “what organization inspires you to give and why.” People wrote and shared their stories on Facebook, and then the online audience voted on them. The competition awarded grants of up to $5,000 for winning stories.
The results, just released, show opportunities for how nonprofit supporters can tell their stories more effectively.
Stories About Giving Are Engaging: The storytelling contest yielded much higher engagement rates compared to standard online communities: 46% engagement rate for voting and 5% content creation conversion rate.
Small Nonprofits Have Some Big Stories: More stories about small nonprofits (less than $2 million in revenue) were submitted (57%). And these stories also gained more audience votes compared to stories about larger nonprofits.
Be Social: Your personal network via social media is a powerful tool and it works. Votes were significantly driven by an individual’s personal network (79%).
Family (and Friends) Matter: Stories referencing a family member were very powerful. 73% of stories referenced a family member (mother, brother, grandparent, etc.).
Photos Work Wonders: Every story that received high number of votes, and every winning story, included a photo.
Short and Sweet: Being brief can be powerful—the majority of stories were under 400 words.