Marketing is super important for NGOs. Your success often depends on how many people know about your cause, which will affect your educational reach and ability to drive donations. This means that it’s a pretty big problem if you’re getting something wrong, especially if it goes to the root of how you portray your organisation’s story. In this post, we’ll explain how you should tell your NGO’s story, by highlighting the big mistake that many NGOs make in their promotional materials and offering some helpful tips to solve this problem.

“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories that you tell.”
– Seth Godin

What Am I Doing Wrong?

Your project is your baby. Whether it’s the NGO you work tirelessly to grow or the video you have been working on day and night, no one knows it as well as you do. That is your biggest strength. But here’s the catch, it can also be your biggest weakness!

Let me explain with an example. If you read your own diary, you’ll know that you drew rainbows on the days you were happy or wrote in that awful red pen when you were angry. If someone else read it… they’d have no idea!

How Should I Tell My NGOs Story?

When curating content or communicating a message, you will often come across the same phenomenon. Because you know your project so well, you might assume that the audience can draw the same conclusions that you have drawn. In reality, the audience is often discovering your project for the first time.

“Delivering information to the consumer is a very, very powerful tool. It’s giving them more control in their life.”
– Frank Quon

An audience is only as involved in a project as you allow them to be. The best way to engage people is to invite them into the world that you have created by:

  • introducing them to your NGOs mission;
  • explaining how your organisation achieves its goals;
  • proving that your cause is necessary and important; and
  • encouraging them to join your journey.

They need to know everything, from how your organisation came to be and what it is today.

How can you make sure you achieve this goal? Always tell your story as though you’re telling it for the first time.

Introduce People to Your NGO

Whether you are starting a new campaign or working on a simple media project, here are some questions that you should be answering! You can use these as a guide to gauge whether or not your project delivers the story of your NGO.

What does your NGO Do?

If your NGO is aimed at eradicating homelessness or is working towards a greener world, help your audience see the impact that the NGO is making and will continue to make.

Tip: Construct a vision and mission statement that is clear and to the point.

How does your NGO Achieve its Goals?

An audience needs to know the practices that your NGO employs and the values that accompany them. Whether your NGO organises food drives or promotes gender equality, make sure your audience well aware of your key values.

Tip: Use symbols to communicate your values, like a badge for being 100% vegan or for supporting companies that do not use child labour. These are easy to read and universally acknowledged, so it will help people with similar values to find and attach themselves to your organisation.

Why is Your Cause Necessary?

Give your audience some details outlining your NGOs effectiveness. Explain what problem you’re looking to solve and explain why that cause needs the world’s attention. To tell your NGO’s story, you must convince people of your why – the reason that you exist.

There are so many worthwhile organisations in the world, so you need to convince them that you deserve their support the most! So, make sure to mention any factors that set your NGO apart.

Tip: Think about why you were drawn to this particular cause, or talk to your co-workers and volunteers about what makes your organisation special to them.

Where and How Can the Audience Stay Up to Date with Your Progress?

Make sure people know how to find out more about your NGO. You can do this by directing your audience to your:

  • website;
  • social media channels;
  • annual report;
  • fact sheets; or
  • contact information.

This way, interested people can learn more, view your previous work and keep up with new developments.

Tip: Even something as simple as an Instagram bio is great for keeping viewers in touch with new developments. Use it!

The Audience

“The key is, no matter what story you tell make the buyer the hero.”
– Chris Brogan

Do you ever find yourself scanning through an article to see how it affects you? To tell your NGO’s story, you need to connect your cause to the world’s interests. Your audience needs to know how they can be a part of your narrative. Here are some questions you should answer in your communication materials that let people know how you can include them!

What Can Your Audience Do to Help Bring About the Change?

Whether you are pursuing an appeal for donations or seeking volunteers, include all the information that your audience will need. This includes:

  • steps to get involved;
  • requirements for eligibility;
  • key dates and times;
  • why their contribution is needed; and
  • what the outcome of their involvement will be.

Keep it simple – if it gets too complicated, you’ll lose people’s attention!

Tip: Make instructions clear and easy to follow. Use bullet points wherever possible!

How Can Your Audience Get Involved in the Vision and Mission of Your NGO?

If you’re primary goal is not to increase donations or attract volunteers, then offer other ways the audience can get involved. For example, they could:

  • raise awareness around your movements;
  • start conversations with friends and family;
  • make changes in their own personal life; or
  • like and share your content on social media.

Wrap Up

It’s important that you spend time considering how to best tell your NGO’s story. Whether it is a video, an animation or a social media post, these tips will help you produce an engaging piece of content that encourages people to get involved with your organisation!

 “Do small things with great love.”
– Mother Teresa

Do you want help creating content to tell your organisation’s story? Get in contact with We are World Change to discuss how our talented student volunteers can produce your next visual media project.