How to Weave Storytelling Into Your Next Fundraising Event

Every seasoned fundraiser knows the power storytelling has on the success of an event. Getting face-to-face with supporters offers you a great opportunity to share impact in a thoughtful and effective way. 

Most people are at your fundraising event because they already support your mission. However, inspiring people to increase their giving will help maximize the ROI of the evening. This is where the power of storytelling comes in. 

Below are three great ways you can weave storytelling into your next event resulting in inspired donors and fundraising success. 

Posterboards on Easels

Don’t underestimate this low-tech option for sparking conversation and initiating engagement at your next event. Utilizing impactful imagery and language that narrates a story as attendees move past the easels can be a valuable addition to your cocktail hour. Think of this as an interactive element that kickstarts discussions early in the evening.

Often, when people first arrive at an event, they require a moment to mingle. They may benefit from some direction on where to focus their attention. Offering easily accessible materials for guests to gather around sets the stage and gently reminds everyone why they’ve gathered for the event.


Video is one of the most potent storytelling tools that a nonprofit can use. Integrating videos into your nonprofit event can bring it to the next level. Video enables you to construct a narrative in advance and then employ it as a guide during the event. Your nonprofit can leverage videos to provide a behind-the-scenes look at your work, share the story of an individual who has benefited from your contributions, or highlight an honoree of the evening.

The optimal time to showcase a video is just before the pivotal moments of your event. Igniting inspiration and evoking emotion just before an auction or paddle raise can significantly enhance your fundraising outcomes. If you are hosting a hybrid event, you can leverage video ahead of time and send it around to remove guests as well.

Pro Tip: If creating a video isn’t feasible, you can compile a slideshow featuring images, graphics, and key statistics, accompanied by emotional music.

Board Members and Staff

Your people are your organization’s greatest asset. In preparation for your major event, focus on the core messages and stories you wish to convey throughout the evening. Your staff and board members will likely help assemble the materials for the event. However, make sure you review key talking points together to ensure cohesion prior to the event. This approach aids them in steering conversations toward your nonprofit’s mission and emphasizing the critical significance of guest support throughout the evening.

Final Thoughts

The heart of every successful nonprofit event relies on the power of storytelling. Engaging supporters face-to-face offers a significant opportunity to thoughtfully and effectively share impact. Through the use of print materials, video, and your board members and staff, your nonprofit can weave a narrative throughout the evening that keeps people engaged. When your guests feel inspired, this ultimately leads to more generous support throughout the evening.