Non-Profit Storytelling

file591263254235As a non-profit organization, you may measure your success based on the amount of donations you receive for your cause. This can be upsetting when you see a similar organization doing pretty well with their donations.

One thing they may be doing differently than you might be better storytelling. Telling your story might be the key to reaching donors pain points. Stories reach a persons emotions. Emotions tug at purse strings.

There are several types of storytelling structures you may use:

  • Value storytelling. This is when you are able to tell your organization’s story by the value of what you do to help your target audience in the community.
  • Improvement storytelling. This type of storytelling is when you show how their donation will make an improvement in the community of your target audience.
  • Creation storytelling. This storytelling technique is used when the organization tells the stories of the employees or volunteers. They say why they are so passionate about working with this organization, or how they got involved with the non-profit.

Testimonies can help you tell your story as well as videos and other print media. You should tell your story clearly, infuse and market your mission statement into the story. Say why you are really in business.

Ask yourself, why should your audience really care about what you do? In your story, convince them why you are worth their time and money. Decide who your audience is, and what are their pain points.

Terrific 7 Step Mini Guide to Developing your Non-profit

file000753288887There are so many people living in communities who want to  give back.  Some want to volunteer their services with already established organizations. But, there are some who want to start their own organizations for helping their community.

For those of you who want to take the plunge and start your own non-profit organization, here are some basic steps that you will need to follow to be successful.

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5 Guidelines For Developing Your Non-Profit Website

IMG_0693Having a website for your non-profit business is just as important as having one for a for-profit business. That’s just it. It is a business. If you plan for your organization to apply for grants, either government or foundation, you will need a website.

However, in order to properly position yourself in the “business” world, you need a website. Nowadays, if your business doesn’t have a website, essentially, you do not exist.

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Happy Holidays From JACF

Happy Holidays from Johnson & Associates Consulting Firm, LLC

We hope you and your family a safe and blessed holiday!


7 Tips To Do Before You Apply For A Grant

DSC_5387Applying for a grant can be exciting and overwhelming. There are a few things an organization can do to make it less overwhelming.

  1. Make sure your house is in order. Ensure you have your 501c3 letter from the IRS. Many grants require proof of this document. Also make sure you update yearly as to not to loose your status and start the application process over.
  1. Have appropriate state and business licenses.
  1. Research appropriate grants. Make sure the grant you are applying for fits your organization’s needs.
  1. Don’t miss the deadline.
  1. Read the directions many, many times and follow them exactly. This often kicks out very good grant proposals.
  1. Have a website. I know, this may sound insignificant, but now days, websites are very, very cheap. Usually under $20.00 for domain name and site per year. Most sites come with simple templates that can be easily navigated. Of course if you want fancy slides, buttons and whistles, you will pay more but at least have a home, about us and contact us page.
  1. Have a checking or savings account in the organization’s name. Some grants may require an audit, so keep this in mind.

Applying for grants takes a lot of work. This can be a full-time job in itself. However, a very organized and detail oriented person can accomplish this task.

To learn more specifics about what your organization will need for grant proposals, we are going to be in Arlington, VA December 5, 2014. Click here for registration and more detail information.

Look forward to seeing you!

Genola B. Johnson
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Genola B. Johnson works with non-profit organizations to help them be the beacon of light in their community.
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4 Steps To Engage Your Donors

JMM_0564Donor engagement is key for any non-profit business. Encouraging people to donate to your cause is what many non-profits are focusing many hours on.

There are ways to engage your donors other than face-to-face meetings. Although face-to-face meetings are very important, some of your donors may not be geographically close to you.


Key steps for engaging your donors


  1. Focus on improvement of website and email campaigns. In a recent survey from Case Foundation, 88% people feel that website presence and email campaigns still rule engagement factors with donors. This means that you may need to invest in hiring a part-time or a contract person to monitor weekly website updates and manage your email campaigns.
  1. Sharing your information is very important. Remember, your cause is not about you. You decided to become a non-profit to help a particular target market that you felt needed your help. If this is the case, and I hope it is, you need to focus on sharing content about the research in your cause.
  1. Make your engagement conversational. Ask questions, post surveys, lead your conversations. This helps people realize that you are really about having that personal touch and not just about the money.
  1. Get visual. One of the most important things you can do is post visuals. Images are what our brain remember more so than text. So, videos, pictures, graphics all about your content research will increase donor engagement.

Increasing donor engagement is important for any non-profit. Getting them to have a conversation with you about new information that was just released or just to reemphasize old information, is what will keep them coming back for more.  As a an end result, providing you with what you need for your organization.


Genola B. Johnson



Are You Using Data To Drive Your Decisions?

file000225595364Data collection for your organization can make or break your success. Collecting the right data, inputting it into the right form and analyzing it can be a huge undertaking for any organization, especially if it is a small one.

It is important to have the right type of data. Yes, you do need to know how many people you’ve helped for each program under your organization. But you also need to know how and when to report this information.

Data collection should be done on a weekly basis. Systems need to be developed to easily input this information. If you do not believe the importance of data collection, this may be something you need to invest into hiring someone to do for you. A contract or part-time basis may be an option.

Data drives decisions

It is important to understand that proper data collection drives the success of the entire organization’s common goals, missions and vision. Having data readily available is crucial to funding opportunities.

After the data is collected, you need to analyze it. Is there a lack in services from a particular day of the week, time of the year, or a particular program? This is where you will make decisions on data analysis and not on feelings.

Often funders require organizations to report the success or failure of the use of their funds. This can impact long-term and short-term future funding opportunities.

Quality data collection

Ensure quality data collection. For example, how many donors do you have and the amount and time of year they contribute. How often someone visits your website, even which pages they view more (this could be where you really need to make your donation button very visible).

If you provide job skills training, how long does it take for the client to be hired, how long do they stay employed, did this job help them get a better job? Did they refer others to your organization for help as well

Making sure you collect data and the right type of data is something that will prove to be what will make your organization successful.



Genola B. Johnson, Executive Director of Johnson & Associates Consulting Firm, LLC. As executive director, Genola provides seminars on grant writing and non-profit development. For more information, contact her at Follow her on Twitter @JACFNET.

Wonder Why No One Is Contacting You About Your Non-profit?

You have a great idea for a non-profit. You have your 501c3 and ready to start helping your community. But, no one is offering you funding for your organization.

One thing that could hinder your future financial success could be the “contact us” page on your website. If you don’t have one, you need one.

 Contact Us

Your contact page should be just what it says. It is a way for potential clients, volunteers, partners and funders to contact you.

Besides the “home” page, the “contact us” page is the most important on your site. You should include the following information on your “contact us” page.

  • An email address to contact you directly
  • Physical mailing address
  • Phone number and fax number
  • A contact person and their email address

You may also include a contact us form as well, but do not let this be the only way someone can get in contact with you. Include a button at the top of your site as well as on the right sidebar if desired.

Do not let the bottom of the page be the only place to put a “contact us” button. People may not scroll that far down for information.

Genola B. Johnson

Secrets of Successful Non-Profits

Networking is important for anyone and, for any industry. You never know who may know who, and who can connect you to the very resource you have been longing to meet.

Networking, especially for organizations seeking funding, is very important. Not only will this connection help you reach resources you are seeking, this connection may be the one organization you need to partner with in future grant proposals.

 Grants awarded on partnerships

Most grants are awarded based on solid partnerships. You will want to make connections with organizations and people who are closely aligned to your organization’s mission, vision and goals.

Don’t limit your network to just organizations in your niche, expand your network to other areas. They may actually need your partnership for a proposal they are applying for.

Example partners

If you are an organization focused on providing assistance for veterans, for example, you will need to partner with other veteran organizations as well as organizations that provide child care, health assistance, transportation, housing, job skills training and educational institutions.

This may lead to a small amount of funding for your organization. Although, you may not be the lead entity applying for the grant, the opportunity for you to provide your services to other organization is really what community organization is about.


Genola B. Johnson 

Dr. Genola Johnson is the Executive Director of Johnson & Associates Consulting Firm, LLC a grant writing firm. For more information on JACF, visit



How to Use Social Media To Promote Your Cause

As a grant writer, I am often questioned about how to acquire grants. And more often than not, the organization is not ready. However, sometimes, I do get an organization that is ready and are doing great things, but no one knows about their successes.

As a full service grant writing service, we provide consultation services to the organization about what they may need to do in order to improve their stance on the internet.

  1. Frequently updating your website is one way that SEO will notice that you are out there doing phenomenal things in your community. Pictures, videos, blogs, or newsletters is how you move your organization’s website up in the search engines.
  2. Another way to get exposure is through social media. Depending on the type of organization you have, you will need to register with at least 3 of the many social media outlets available.

If your organization is geared toward the arts, I would suggest you definitely register with Pinterest. If your focus is more toward a service cause, Facebook or Twitter would be excellent for you.

Do not try to register with every social media that is available. Trying to post to many social media outlets will exhaust your staff person with updates. There are platforms for you to post to many sites with one post, but again, I would suggest you stick to no more than 3 social media sites and post well meaningful content to them.

Make sure you join groups, respond to comments and make connections with others in the platform. Expanding your networking circle is crucial when you are acquiring a grant.

Genola B. Johnson

Dr. Genola Johnson is the Executive Director of Johnson & Associates Consulting Firm, LLC a full service grant writing firm. For more information on JACF, visit