Image by Tim Gruber



Jeff Brooks’ brilliant Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications features an essential chapter titled, “Persuade with Story, not Statistics.”

Jeff warns:  “We’re all tempted to marshal facts and send them out like an army to battle people into being generous. That doesn’t work. If you want people to give, you have to touch them deeply. And to do that, you must tell stories. The human mind isn’t moved by facts. We forget facts. We fail to internalize them. We miss their meaning and importance.”

So it was an especially welcome treat this week to greet the launch of the new magazine characters, devoted to stories told by writers from the nonprofit sector.  You can download the inaugural issue free.

Characters is the brainchild of Katya Andresen of Network for Good and Mark Rovner in order to feature the writing of folks who work for good causes and to inspire better storytelling in our sector. They’ve succeeded.

Pick your genre: fiction, photography, personal essays, social media and even a short play. Check it out.

Think you can relay a dramatic, real-life story of hope and heartbreak using only Twitter. You bet you can. Or at least legal services staffer Lewis Kinard can (Page 14).

See what happens when you attempt to feed a gaggle of Russian orphans in the chaos of a Moscow McDonald’s.  Becky DeNooy relates the gory details on Page 8.

As Katya puts it, “A cracking good story could change the world if only we could write it.” And clearly, via first-rate examples, Katya and Mark are hell-bent on encouraging us all.

Maybe you have a story in you. Of how you came to do what you do or what drove you to care about a particular cause. The editors are hoping that, by showing us some stories that matter, others of us will take pen to paper and summon the courage to tell our story and submit it to the magazine.

For taking on the challenge of encouraging all of us to open up our hearts in order to open the hearts of others, Mark and Katya deserve an Agitator raise.

What stories are in your heart?


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