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The Non-Profit Narrative

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  170 ratings  ·  21 reviews
The Non-Profit Narrative is designed to help non-profits apply storytelling principles to their day-to-day operations and communications for maximum impact. Applying the idea that all organizations have great stories to tell, Dan Portnoy encourages non-profits to interpret fundraising and engagement through the perspective of storytelling. This proven process has helped ...more
Paperback, 110 pages
Published February 22nd 2012 by PMG Press
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Brian Clark
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was a concise and easy-to-read summary of what a communication department should be striving for. It offers structure for stories that we put together and gives practical advice at the end of each chapter. Much of the information is not ‘new’ to us as a communications team but the book offers good reminders for best practices and challenged me in my own writing. As I begin to plan and write each story, I should keep these ideas in mind.
Oct 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I thought it was

*easy to read and understand
*immediately applicable
*chock full of great examples and resources. I looked up every resource at the end except the ones I have already subscribed to or read.

What I love is that it's simple. It's easy to put into practice. But it also reframed some of the communications I already do. From this point forward, I will communicate organizational stories differently, and it's directly because I read this book.

Other reviewers said he
Nicolás Díaz
The basic idea behind this book is a very solid one that should become apparent to anyone: NGOs have to tell a story and they have to tell a bloody good one. Unfortunately this book is short, which would be fine normally but it also spends a lot of time talking about other non-profit elements that are only secondary to the narrative premise (such as how to set up your web or mailing list).

There is good advice all around, though. I just wish it was filled with more real life examples instead of
Elora Ramirez
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Being a storyteller, I appreciated Dan's call for more stories in nonprofits. Whether you're struggling or succeeding in your start-up, or you've been around for awhile and know a thing or two about gaining notoriety as a nonprofit, this book reminds us all that at the core what really matters is story - the good and bad, the not so pretty and the unbelievable. The public wants to know, and Dan will show you how to tell them.
Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I worked in not-for-profit organizations for years, and this book offers practical and easily-implemented strategies for getting an NFP's mission and work noticed. It should be a must-read for marketing and development professionals, executive leadership and trustees,
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Compact, quick, useful, inspirational--everything it claims to be. Portnoy doesn't waste any time and simply hits on the needed reminders (many that I "knew" but needed to simply focus on) that help bring the important things to the surface. Thanks, Dan!
Dan King
May 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! And I frequently refer to the ideas Portnoy discusses in the book. It's a short, quick read, but the concept is huge. It's a very practical guide to storytelling for non-profits, and is packed with examples to connect to.
Kristin Harvey
Apr 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Many movie examples here, but it's a great parallel to better understand the elements of story telling for non-profits through the clutter of campaign cycles, social media, and the new economy. Great read!
Jan 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Highly motivational with great practical tips on producing non-profit communications in a digital age. This book should be in every non-profit org's tool box.
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Quick read and good advice.
Justin McRoberts
Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Better than Cats!!

Actually, I really did love it. Solid social philosophy without being heady followed by challenging but doable next steps and suggestions.
Jul 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Easy read and incredibly helpful.
Jeff Bjorgan
Mar 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Nice, clear, articulate advice on bringing story elements into marketing for non-profits.
Alonda Williams
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Concise and useful advice for nonprofit organizations and development professionals. It is a bit basic for those who have experience with storytelling and perfect for those who don't .
May 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
Книга дает хорошие советы и к тому же коротка. Для тех, кто уверен, что чувства нужна оставлять дома, она может оказаться настоящим кладезем идей. Основной тезис автора примерно таков: "Хотите для своей организации кассовых сборов -- станьте живым героем захватывающей истории".

Книга богата примерами и даже "историями", однако эти примеры можно считать не только сильной, но и слабой стороной книги. Неплохо лучше разобраться, что делает захватывающими истории из фильмов (но для этого вообще-то
Diego Parada Herrera
May 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-profit
Interesante y conciso con consejos prácticos para las organizaciones no lucrativas. Varios tips sencillos, aunque tengas experiencia en comunicación, vale la pena recordar y aplicar varios principios que se mencionan en el libro.


Interesting and concise with practical advice for nonprofits. Several simple tips, even if you have experience in communicating, it is worth remembering and applying various principles mentioned in the book.
Apr 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Quick read and well written. Sparked some ideas, but the book itself does not delve in to much detail about how to best tell your story or provide many examples. If you already have good work content (stories), then this book will help you think outside the box a bit and question whether you are doing enough.
May 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
A valuable lesson for sure, but perhaps better suited to a presentation or pamphlet. There was too much overlap between sections and chapters to keep my interest. Also, the book would have been greatly improved with a bit of attention from a copy editor and/or proofreader. There were numerous formatting mistakes and grammatical errors ("their" instead of "there" and similar).
Dana Jean
Mar 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
I found this book to be useless. I thought it was overrun with movie examples and I was unable to see how they related to nonprofits. It was lacking any real laying out or mapping out clear ways to construct a nonprofit's personal message. very disappointing.
Brad Hayes
Nov 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
No deep insights to be found here, but the content is (mostly) solid.
Kelsey King
Short and sweet

Quite a bit of obvious information but also goes very in depth about social media. Something I was not liking for when I started, but helpful none the less.
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marked it as to-read
Mar 29, 2012
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Nov 12, 2017
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Dan Portnoy is the author of The Non-Profit Narrative and the founder of Portnoy Media Group.

He has worked writing, directing, and producing projects, commercials, and videos for companies like Vans, The United Way, The Weepies and many others.

His award-winning campaigns have raised hundreds of millions of dollars for non-profits nationwide.
“new faster, leaner non-profits are springing up everywhere. They engage, they show momentum” 0 likes
“Think of your communication in terms of telling a larger story.” 0 likes
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