Community Foundation Two-Person Content Team

A two-person content team at a small foundation nearly tripled its audience by crafting strategic stories designed to achieve specific goals.

Julie Brown and Lisa Houck manage the Facebook page for the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation in Ohio. The duo wanted to attract more followers on social media and increase their audience’s engagement with their content, while not overextending the small team. They attended a storytelling workshop that opened their eyes to the need for setting smart, strategic goals to guide their content creation.

“Other than a hazy wish hoping for additional Facebook followers, we had no specific goals,” Julie wrote in a blog post about their success. “Each day, we decided what our followers needed to hear and then we used Facebook to broadcast it to them. And we thought we were pretty good at it!”

The pair created a storytelling strategy designed to achieve three goals: build trust, cultivate the next generation of Foundation donors (specifically, women aged 45-54), and engage followers. They selected three types of stories to tell:

  • “Impact stories,” highlighting how county nonprofit agencies use Community Foundation grants to create positive change.
  • “Stories of our people,” celebrating the people who work at local nonprofit agencies, as well as donors and staff.
  • “Strength stories,” showing positive changes in the community made possible by the Community Foundation.

In addition to this storytelling strategy, they experimented with different approaches to creating compelling content and came up with their own guidelines for stories that are “conversational, celebratory, visual and data-free.”

On the day they attended the workshop, the pair was proud to have 408 Facebook followers. A year later, their audience had grown to 1,145 in a largely rural county with fewer than 100,000 inhabitants. FundRaising Success magazine recognized the storytelling duo’s success with a Gold Award for social media.

To power up your impact, develop a storytelling strategy with clear goals. You’ll need to identify the target audiences who can help you advance your mission, and set storytelling objectives that will guide you in inspiring and engaging those people to get involved.