Storytelling as Goodwill

Love this short Chronicle for Philanthropy piece on recognizing our obligation to tell our impact stories to those who can help us reach and feed more people.

"What has always been most expected of us is helping to feed hungry kids. That's our highest priority. But scaling our efforts to reach as many of those hungry children as possible required doing what was least expected of us: investing funds in building the brand of our No Kid Hungry campaign -- precisely the kinds of expenditures in marketing, communications, and promotions that give donors pause and may mean feeding fewer people in the short term. But what we learned is that a better-known and better-trusted brand attracts more supporters and yields record levels of funding support and thus greater impact.

In 2008, when our strategy shifted from grant making to helping coordinate and support a campaign to end childhood hunger, we needed a more accessible way of describing our new approach. Our board of directors understood that like most enterprises, whether profit or nonprofit, brand building was not an expertise of ours. They urged us to spend money we did not have to hire a branding and communications firm. Though that seems counter to the more conservative approach one might expect from a traditional board, our board of businesspeople believed if you had a story to tell, a story that could help more children, you had an almost moral obligation to tell it."

Read the full article: March 9, 2015, Reaping Big Rewards by Doing the Unexpected, opinion by Bill Shore, the founder and chief executive officer of Share Our Strength -