Pro Tip of the Month: Become a Story-Miner

This month’s tip comes courtesy of Melinda Langdon, the director of communications at the Ivy Brain Tumor Center at Barrow Neurological Institute.

In the world of nonprofits, motivating others to take action can be a challenge. How do you move people to engage with your cause and inspire them to support your mission? When it comes to brain cancer — a devastating, rare disease that desperately needs more research and funding — this task can be especially challenging.

I have found the answer often lies in storytelling, not in facts and figures. The compelling narratives of those you serve and those who serve alongside you are the most powerful tools in your arsenal.

To tap into the full potential of storytelling, you must become a “story-miner.” Like a miner searching for precious gems, you’ll need to dig deep to find those hidden stories that can transform how people view your cause. Here’s how to do it:

1. Visit the communities and meet the people impacted by your nonprofit’s work. Listen to their stories, learn about their struggles, and capture the moments of hope and resilience.

2. Dig deeper to find unique stories that resonate with a wide audience. Look for narratives highlighting human connection, personal growth and the difference your nonprofit is making.

3. Once you’ve found your stories, it’s time to shape them into compelling narratives. Use clear language, vivid imagery and authentic voices. A well-polished story will shine brightly and attract attention, drawing people into your cause.

4. Use various platforms — social media, newsletters, blogs, and events — to reach a broader audience. Make it easy for people to engage with and share your stories, spreading your message further.

5. Encourage your supporters, volunteers and donors to become story-miners too. They might uncover stories you never knew existed.

So grab your tools, start exploring, and find the stories that will inspire the world.

Ivy Brain Tumor Center at Barrow Neurological Institute is a nonprofit translational research program that employs bold, early-phase clinical trial strategies to rapidly identify new treatments for aggressive brain tumors, including glioblastoma.

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