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Storytelling is essential in nonprofit marketing. From honing in on your organization’s “why” to crafting a purpose-driven storyline that influences action, the ability to effectively tell a story is crucial to businesses of all kinds.

Dave and Michael Neelsen, founders of StoryFirst Media, recently joined Park Bank’s Senior Vice President of Business Services Peter Benson for a webinar about storytelling. [1:17, 1:50].


What is Storytelling?

The word “storytelling” has almost become meaningless in business and marketing. Brands start telling their story by identifying their “why,” but often stop there. [2:40]

StoryFirst has found that brands either succeed or fail based on actions and how authentically the organization lives its brand. [3:28] Actions are ultimately what is going to define and differentiate one nonprofit from another, especially for people or organizations who are serving similar needs in the crowded marketplace.

Actions are the differentiators for brands, organizations, and nonprofits. If you couldn’t say the message out loud to your audience, what actions would you perform to get the message across?

StoryFirst emphasizes the importance of action, noting that storytelling is about saying things without verbally saying them. [4:10] Audiences enjoy the thrill of connecting ideas on their own without being spoon-fed the messaging.

Start your organization’s storytelling journey by crafting a story map. Sometimes called the “hero’s journey,” a good story needs a beginning, middle, and end — and an effective story needs conflict and resolution. [13:00]


How to craft a purpose-driven storyline

If your organization is looking to influence action or help audiences see a different perspective, then what you need is purpose-driven storytelling. A purpose-driven storyline is essential for nonprofit organizations, as it moves audiences to act. [22:00]


Articulating your organization’s values, introducing relevant characters, and showing meaningful action are all essential to help you craft an impactful story specific to your organization. [36:26]


Additional Resources

Whether you and your team are seasoned storytellers or are just getting started on your storytelling journey, StoryFirst Media’s expertise is invaluable. Watch the full webinar here for more information:



Brand Story Paradigm

Controlling Idea Document


Park Bank is dedicated to helping nonprofits achieve their financial and real-world goals. By giving back, we all move forward.

Learn more about Park Bank’s nonprofit account options.