Very recently, I started working on a new media kit for my organization. I decided to include a brief history, so I copied our most recent list of important dates and pasted it onto the page. That’s when I realized just how boring it looked.

Isn’t the point of marketing and communications to get people’s attention? To draw them in, make them feel something, and help them understand what your organization is all about?

One way to accomplish this is by telling your nonprofit’s story. So how does your nonprofit’s history fit into your nonprofit’s story?

Think about when, where, and why you share your story

In order to decide how your nonprofit’s history fits into your nonprofit’s story, you first have to think about the story itself and how relevant past events are to how you want to tell it today. Ask yourself when and where you share the story. Do you:

  • Include it on the about page of your website?
  • Add it to your media kit?
  • Make it part of your annual report?
  • Feature it during special events?

Next, think about why you share the story in these ways. This will help you determine how relevant your history is to your current storytelling, and how it might fit into your marketing and communications.

Find the information you need

Most of the time, your nonprofit’s story is not hard to find. It’s probably been told in many ways and in many forms. But what about your nonprofit’s history?

If you don’t already have access to the information you need, just ask! Your nonprofit will often have the resources to help you, including:

  • Old news clippings and photos
  • Scrapbooks
  • Awards and certificates
  • Board or committee meeting minutes
  • Historical documents or records

What other resources might you need and how can you find them?

Use the right tools

In order for your nonprofit’s story to get attention and evoke emotion, sometimes you have to be creative. So why should you treat your nonprofit’s history any differently? Think back to where, how, and when you share your story and do the same with your history. Whether through videos, photos, or other means, getting creative and using the right tools can make all the difference.

Pay attention to milestones

No matter when it was founded, every nonprofit has a milestone. And milestones are an important part of a nonprofit’s story and history. But is a milestone always the  right time to celebrate history? And how can we bring relevance to those historical dates? Answering these questions can make it easier to fit your nonprofit’s history into your current storytelling.

What works for you?

How do you make you nonprofit’s history fit into your nonprofit’s story? Join the conversation! Share your experience and ideas during the next #NPMC Twitter chat Thursday, May 28 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Follow the #NPMC hashtag on Twitter.

Kelly Rembold

Kelly Rembold

Marketing Specialist at Lark Enterprises, Inc.
Kelly Rembold is a nonprofit marketing and communications professional with a passion for storytelling. She is the sales and communication director at Kon-O-Kwee Spencer YMCA, a year-round YMCA camp in Fombell, PA, that offers summer programs, group retreats, and environmental education. Kelly has a background in journalism, and has previously worked as a reporter and editorial assistant for newspapers in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Kelly Rembold
Kelly Rembold