Life and Mission

Life and Mission

Storytelling and writing are essential skills for missionaries, ministry and nonprofit leaders. In fact, if you struggle to tell stories, you'll struggle to raise the funds you need. Kay Helm is a writer & editor with experience in missions and the business world. She founded Mission Writers in 2022 to help missionaries write fundraising appeals and powerful stories to share with supporters. In this podcast, she offers tips you can use today to improve your missions & nonprofit writing.

Episodes

February 8, 2024 14 mins

In this episode, I'm answering questions about nonprofit newsletters.

  • How many newsletters should you send?
  • How fancy do they need to be?
  • What else can you do with those stories?
  • Why send a print newsletter by mail when you can send email instead? 
  • One key thing you don't want to leave out.

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If you struggle to tell stories, you’ll struggle to raise funds. 
In the Mission Writers course:

  • ...
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Storytelling is an essential skill for fundraisers.  

What do stories do?

  • Stories help us connect. 
  • Compelling stories increase empathy.
  • Stories reflect our values. 
  • Stories reveal truths. 
  • Stories help us see others in a new way.
  • Stories give us context.

If you struggle to tell stories, you’ll struggle to raise funds. 
In the Mission Writers course:

  • Learn the exact stories that every ministry, missionary, and...
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The time between Thanksgiving and December 31 is by far the biggest giving season of the year. People expect you to ask. If you don't, the assumption will likely be that you don't need their money.Here's what you need to do now.


If you struggle to tell stories, you’ll struggle to raise funds. 
In the Mission Writers course:

  • Learn the exact stories that every ministry, missionary, and nonprofi...
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You know you need to tell more stories to raise funds - but where do you find these stories? In this episode, I share five ways to find the stories you need.




If you struggle to tell stories, you’ll struggle to raise funds. 
In the Mission Writers course:

  • Learn the exact stories that every ministry, missionary, and nonprofit needs to tell.
  • Master the fundraising story calendar.
  • Develop and practice e...
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In the Food Network show Chopped, just before chefs present their first dish to the judges, they must answer the question, “What would it mean for you to win?” 

It's a question every nonprofit must answer.

If you struggle to tell stories, you’ll struggle to raise funds. 
In the Mission Writers course:

  • Learn the exact stories that every ministry, missionary, and nonprofit needs to tell.
  • Master the fu...
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August 23, 2023 10 mins

Do you think of yourself as an expert? Maybe you should. We need you to share your knowledge and experience with us.

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If you struggle to tell stories, you’ll struggle to raise funds. 
In the Mission Writers course:

  • Learn the exact stories that every ministry, missionary, and nonprofit needs to tell.
  • Master the fundraising story calendar.
  • Develop and practice essential storytelling skills to increase ...
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August 10, 2023 14 mins

Your supporters want to help.  Asking them for advice helps you and engages them at a deeper level. You’ll both be glad you did!

Often, when you ask for advice, supporters will tell you exactly how they prefer to be asked for money. The transparency you show in  conversations around how you raise funds invites them to also be transparent about how they approach giving. 

This isn’t a trick to get them to give more. It is an invitation...

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In the last episode, we looked at gaps in your storytelling that cause friction. This week, we’re looking at friction in the donation process.


If you struggle to tell stories, you’ll struggle to raise funds. 
In the Mission Writers course:

  • Learn the exact stories that every ministry, missionary, and nonprofit needs to tell.
  • Master the fundraising story calendar.
  • Develop and practice essential storytelling ski...
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Why aren't people giving? Maybe there's too much friction–little things in your messaging or in your presentation that cause hesitation or second-guessing. This week we look at friction in storytelling, and what to do about it.


If you struggle to tell stories, you’ll struggle to raise funds. 
In the Mission Writers course:

  • Learn the exact stories that every ministry, missionary, and nonprofit need...
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June 14, 2023 17 mins

Every story needs change, regardless of the story's focus. By recognizing this and emphasizing it, you can engage and connect with your audience more effectively.


If you struggle to tell stories, you’ll struggle to raise funds. 
In the Mission Writers course:

  • Learn the exact stories that every ministry, missionary, and nonprofit needs to tell.
  • Master the fundraising story calendar.
  • Develop and practice e...
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Sports can teach us a lot about nonprofit storytelling. In this episode, we're looking at two examples of sports using storytelling to reach people and to teach people – two things all nonprofits need to do.


If you struggle to tell stories, you’ll struggle to raise funds. 
In the Mission Writers course:

  • Learn the exact stories that every ministry, missionary, and nonprofit needs to tell.
  • Master the fund...
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April 28, 2023 39 mins

If you've got a book, you need a course to go with it. Here's my interview with the man who can help you do that, Dr. Lucas Marino.


If you struggle to tell stories, you’ll struggle to raise funds. 
In the Mission Writers course:

  • Learn the exact stories that every ministry, missionary, and nonprofit needs to tell.
  • Master the fundraising story calendar.
  • Develop and practice essential storytelling skil...
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April 10, 2023 12 mins

When we are writing to move someone to action, we must be clear. Not clever. Only crystal clear will do.
I recently attended the Hope Words conference for writers, where one of the speakers was Katherine Paterson. Mrs. Paterson is the author of over 40 books and the recipient of many awards for her writing, including two Newberry Medals.

She told us about a time when she got a note from her long-time editor about a c...

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March 15, 2023 9 mins

As ministry practitioners and nonprofit communicators, we are often called to sit with difficult stories of human suffering and injustice. Even though we are storytellers, not every story is for sharing. Our words are also meant for remembering, exploring, questioning, and hoping.

Resources
Mark Vroegop, Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament
Michael Card, A Sacred Sorrow: Reaching Out to God in t...

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Parables have a way of getting around our defenses, short-circuiting our stereotypes, and making us think in new ways. In this episode, we're looking at the role of parables in Jesus' ministry, and how you can use stories to break through walls in your nonprofit's messaging.

Check out Jesus' parable in Matthew 13, and his answer to the disciples when they ask why he tells so many stories.

Thing...

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February 16, 2023 10 mins

The Fundraising Super Bowl is your nonprofit's big game - and winning looks like raising the funds you need to serve. Here are some lessons from that "other" big game.

Football coaching legend Vince Lombardi famously said to his almost-champion Green Bay Packers team,  “Gentlemen, this is a football.”

What he meant was they needed to execute the basics well, if they expected to win the big champions...

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January 31, 2023 21 mins

Being a guest on podcasts is a great way to share your message. Here's your guide to being a great podcast guest.

Find full show notes and a checklist at lifeandmission.com


If you struggle to tell stories, you’ll struggle to raise funds. 
In the Mission Writers course:

  • Learn the exact stories that every ministry, missionary, and nonprofit needs to tell.
  • Master the fundraising story calendar.
  • Dev...
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In this interview with Eric Nevins, founder of the Christian Podcasters Association, we discuss the potential waiting to be unlocked through podcasting.

Eric hosts the Halfway There Podcast.



If you struggle to tell stories, you’ll struggle to raise funds. 
In the Mission Writers course:

  • Learn the exact stories that every ministry, missionary, and nonprofit needs to tell.
  • Master the fundraising ...
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January 11, 2023 18 mins

This week on Life and Mission: End-of-year fundraising may be over, but that only sets up some key messaging for January.  In this episode, I'll give you three key messages to send donors in January (plus a bonus).



If you struggle to tell stories, you’ll struggle to raise funds. 
In the Mission Writers course:

  • Learn the exact stories that every ministry, missionary, and nonprofit needs to tell.
  • Mas...
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In this episode, Kent Sanders shares his process for ghostwriting and collaborating on book projects. Plus, thoughts on structure and creativity, and his latest project - a book about Elvis.

Kent is the author of 18 Words to Live By: A Father's Wisdom on What Matters Most,   and The Artist's Suitcase: 26 Essentials for the Creative Journey, and co-author of Performance-Driven Giving: The Roadmap to Unleashing th...

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