Use Stories to Inspire and Inform

Don’t be a manic-depressive ministry!

What is manic depression in a ministry? Well, some organizations are manic — they communicate with high emotion, but not much information — while other organizations are depressive, communicating loads of informative data but without much emotion. Using a testimony — or telling the “story of the one” — has the natural effect of leveling out either extreme.

A complete story communicates mission, outcomes, and data.  Use a story that demonstrates your desired outcomes while exposing your core values.  It will engage, inspire, and inform your readers.

Say you’re one of those ministry marketers more inclined to raise money via emotion than information.   Don’t just show the crying child in a still photo, but tell the “story of the one” in an appeal, and you’ve provided some substance — some hard evidence indicating that your ministry is actually accomplishing something with the donor’s dollars. Not that you can use a story and abandon the use of hard facts altogether — but a testimony helps.

Or say you’re one of those ministry marketers more inclined to raise money via information than emotion. You’re just not comfortable expressing a lot of passion on paper; it’s not natural for you. Tell the “story of the one” in an appeal, and you almost automatically heighten the emotional quotient of your package.  Stories inspire.

* Like what you just read and want to learn more? Check out, The Seven Deadly Diseases of Ministry Marketing: Confessions of a Christian Fundraiser.

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About Gary Coiro

Nonprofit & Church Leader Nonprofit Leader and Consultant since 2004, following 15 years as a pastor. Competencies include board development, fundraising, staff development and management, strategic planning, church work, Bible teaching, and capital campaigns. Currently consulting and serving on the Church Ministries Management Team for a large multi-cultural evangelical church.
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