Sell stories not services

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I’m sure you’ve heard this before, “Sell the solution, not the product”, well, for nonprofits, I like to say – sell stories, not services.

And, YES you need to sell just like any other business in the world. The difference is that you’re selling a feeling, a cause, a mission.

You do that NOT by talking about that, but by telling STORIES about the impact you’ve made on someone (or many someones).

People buy with emotion and that works for nonprofits too.

Your goal is generate support every single day, whether it’s through donations, grants, word-of-mouth, events, social media, etc. And the best way to do that is by sharing the impact you’ve made not just on what you provide.

Some examples:

  1. Parenting support organization that offers online courses…you generate support and buy-in by telling stories about how your online courses have helped Sarah understand her teenage daughter’s issues with bullying at school.
  2. Hospice in a large city centre…you share how Arthur was able to move through his last days with his grandchildren by his side without the beeping machines all day and night.
  3. Dog shelter for abused animals…you tell stories about those dogs who have come to you and have found new life, like Henry who was scared of every movement and would shrink away any time a human came near him, to watch him thrive over the months into a cuddly and more confident fella who loves the laughter of children and playing in the grass.

Stories are the way to connect to others and engage your audience.

What stories can you tell?



Amanda Ross is the President of SparkologyLab (SL) and the creator of Brand In A Snap (a division of SL). She loves designing stuff in the digital space, trying different curry recipes, and squishing her puppy, Buffy (the people slayer). The topics she shares about are design how-to's, marketing, and digital tips. You can learn more about her on LinkedIN:

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