There are going to be a lot of wonderful organizations sharing stories on #GivingTuesday and throughout this season. Here are a few best practices to make sure yours is compelling and actionable.

1. Choose the right narrator

To make your story feel authentic, it’s important to tell it in the right voice. A narrator for whom the story is personal — be it an employee, a donor, or a beneficiary — will be best able to convey a depth of understanding and emotion that translates to the audience.

When possible, have your narrator write in the first person, and if you’re publishing on Medium, do so from the narrator’s account.

Lastly, beware of sounding too promotional. Even though this is a Giving Tuesday post, let your work speak for itself and let your audience be moved by the story.

2. Lead with emotion

Empathy is the name of the game. If you can grip your readers right off the bat and make them feel something, they’ll be much more likely to remember what they read about, and much more likely to take action.

One trick is to start right in with an individual story of impact before even mentioning the name of your organization or the relevant program. Then, once you’ve got your readers’ attention, you can give us the details.

For more on this, the great folks over at Upworthy are doing some wonderful experimentation around the link between emotion, sharing, and downstream action.

The science that helps Upworthy encourage our audience to share stories on tough subjects.
Upworthy is known for telling uplifting stories, and that is a big part of what we

3. Keep the actions highly relevant to the story

If you’ve just told a really moving story about one girl’s struggle to get an education, make sure your ask is directly relevant such as a donation to that girl and girls like her, or to women in her country, etc. You’ve built emotions around a specific cause, leverage them effectively and you can get people to act.

It’s also a nice idea to offer lighter-touch options in addition to donation asks. People that have just been introduced to your cause may be more likely to share a story on social media or sign up for a mailing list than give money. And don’t worry, studies show that social actions increase likelihood of conversion later on.

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By Ariel Azoff