The average adults understand children, within the United States. Once upon a time in the United States, children in your city would attend a neighborhood, one-room schoolhouse. In this multi-age classroom, students would learn the three R’s – math, reading, and writing. Years later in the 21st century, students immerse themselves into science, technology, mathematics, religion, science, history, philosophy, and more. Unless you live in a remote of a rural area, your students have a plethora of school options. The typical mid-sized to large-sized city will have faith-based, Montessori, private, independent, magnet, and micro-school options. Getting your schools’ name out is one thing. In order to succeed, you must stand out! The evidence of your school’s success in the ability to tell stories of how your school impacts the lives of young and old – students, alumni, parents, grandparents, faculty, staff, and others. Stories evoke emotion and tell the reader how your school is unique in the world. In addition, a good ability to storytelling will tell your donors what happens in your school’s ways and how those actions change the lives of the students.
Students: Your student is not just one-dimensional! He or she is a balance of physical, spiritual, academics, social, and emotion. Every student is a walking human! So each one of your students will have a story on how attending your school changed their life! Find a student who has struggled with math in his or her old school and now is flourishing with the help of a caring, supportive teacher. Seek out the student who have been accepted to a prestigious university, and would have never achieved their success in a public school.
If your school is faith-based, tell stories on how your school shaped the faith of a student. Do you have an example of a student whose life has been deeply impacted by faith, and it has changed their lives upside down? Did your school teach a young or girl to pray with their family and have meals together weekly? Does your school drive students to do kind deeds in their neighborhoods?
Alumni: How did your school shape the lives of alumni? The best stories are the passionate alumni who have made something of themselves! Are they so passionate about your school they are bringing their children back to your school? Do you have alumni who resided in a tougher neighborhood, but because of your school was able to go to college, receive great mentorship, and land a dream job? Do you have alumni who so appreciate your school they came back to teach there?
Parents: How do parents experience with your school? Does their child get so excited about school, it’s easy to get them out of bed in the morning? Does their child have friends at school, and they are less anxious? Are you parents able to connect with other parents and have relationships, they would not have otherwise?
Faculty: Do they beam with pride about your school? Have stories to tell how your faculty includes all members, treats people with dignity, and much more. Tell individuals how your faculty love to come to school and teach at your school.
Staff: Why do they work at your school? If they are in marketing or fund development, why did they choose your school as opposed to another nonprofit organization or corporate entity?
Storytelling, if done correctly, can increase your school’s enrollment and donations! Are you doing it correctly?