Marta Lindsey, Communications and Development Director of TransForm

At the nonprofit where I work, TransForm, we occasionally feel a little bit jealous of organizations that work directly with people or animals, such as food banks or animal shelters.

That’s because it seems a lot easier for them to create marketing content that follows all of Kivi’s advice, especially about using the power of storytelling to engage people in your work and compel them to act.

Meanwhile, much of TransForm’s work is focused on influencing transportation and land use policy (did I lose you already?). Translating this “wonkiness” into a tale of how one person’s life is impacted by our work can be a challenge – and one we hadn’t really taken on.

Applying Ideas from Kivi's Storytelling Webinar Series

When it came to our fundraising appeals, our content was pretty heavy on the details of our current campaigns and often included hard-to-grasp figures. For example, what does $1 billion in cuts to state public transportation funding mean to you? Sure, it sounds really bad, but an overwhelming number like that doesn’t grab someone at that deeper, emotional level. And we knew from Kivi that you have to reach people at that level to truly engage them.

While we may not be a food bank with clients coming by every night to interview or an animal shelter with adorable puppies to take photos of, we learned that even a policy-focused nonprofit like TransForm has incredible stories to tell. That’s because at the end of the day our work has huge impacts on people’s daily lives – just like all the great nonprofits out there. We just had to do a little thinking and digging.

By asking our program staff for ideas and putting out a call for stories about people who are impacted by cuts to public transportation, we were overwhelmed by the number of people who wanted to participate. I’m confident our increasingly people-focused, Kivi-inspired approach will attract many more donors and activists.

So… check out some screen shots and  images from our spring appeal, fueled by Kivi’s great trainings and insights!


This was one of many images we rotated through on our homepage

We featured several short stories from individuals about how the changes to public transit have affected them personally.

Access our recorded webinars on storytelling and many other topics by purchasing our All-Access Pass.