What’s Your Armadillo Story?

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Honest Storytelling Deepens Your Impact

Picture it: A trendy New York City restaurant crowded with hungry fundraisers fresh off a day of learning at a big annual conference. The chatter inside combined with the noise of a busy NYC street outside is deafening.

That is until a voice rises above the crowd to say, “There are about 5,000 cases of leprosy in the United States. Most of them are caused by armadillos."

All conversation fades out, wine glasses stop clinking and even the traffic outside silences itself. Or so it seems.

Almost immediately the chatter begins again, traffic starts moving, waiters resume serving. Things get back to normal, but everyone within earshot is riveted. The person tossing out bon mots about armadillos — then the director of development at The Leprosy Mission Canada — has their attention, and he knows it.

Not only that, but those who hear the story behind that wild statistic leave that night and tell their friends, who tell their friends ... 

There’s no way of knowing how many of those conversations resulted in donations, but the point is, a great story gets people’s attention — and a great storyteller knows that.


Your job as fundraisers is to tell a great story. It has to be heartfelt and real. Donors will see through the bull in a heartbeat and your credibility is shot. And it has to be respectful of the dignity of the people you’re talking about. Not so important when it comes to armadillos but certainly so when it comes to people

So what is your organization’s armadillo story? Find it, tell it and watch what happens.


All the best,

- Your friends at CharityHowTo


P.S. Don’t forget to keep learning. Want to find out more about the importance of storytelling in fundraising and how to do it right? Check this out. It’s free.

Topics: Fundraising, best fundraising, psychology of fundraising, fundraising for nonprofits, storytelling