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.


May 15, 2023 11 mins

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.

Support the show
Mark as Played

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.

Support the show
Mark as Played
April 10, 2023 10 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...

Mark as Played
March 15, 2023 7 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.

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

Mark as Played

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.


Mark as Played
February 16, 2023 9 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...

Mark as Played
January 31, 2023 20 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

Support the show
Mark as Played

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.

Support the show
Mark as Played
January 11, 2023 16 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).

Support the show
Mark as Played

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...

Mark as Played
November 15, 2022 10 mins

When things don't turn out as planned, a well-told setback story can give donors another reason to support you. 

Here are some of the stories you can tell around a setback:

  • Explain the process of change your beneficiaries go through.
  • Focus on one aspect of the change process and help supporters understand why it's such a hurdle.
  • Share a story about the setting that causes difficulties in the change process.
  • Featu...
Mark as Played
October 26, 2022 22 mins

I have a love-hate relationship with conferences and networking events. While I love to meet new people and to learn new things, large or busy events can get overwhelming. I'm an introvert. I like my alone time. After a lot of activity,  conversations, and noise, I need to go somewhere quiet and recharge. 

Last week's Daily Writer Retreat got me thinking about the advantage of smaller events (at least for me). Th...

Mark as Played

The tables are turned as fundraising expert Mary Valloni interviews Kay about using stories to connect with donors.

We talked about:
Using stories to connect
Where we go wrong with storytelling
Stories for people in admin roles
Telling your own origin story
The key story we forget

Missionary fundraising training with Mary Valloni

Level up your storytelling...

Mark as Played
September 13, 2022 10 mins

Your donors are busy. They’re tired. They make decisions all day in a world where everyone is clamoring for attention. Here's a simple way to help them "catch" your stories.

Support the show
Mark as Played

Our stories have the power to move supporters along on a journey: introducing them to a problem, dispelling myths, offering hope, introducing them to our organization, showing them how we solve the problem, building trust, and inviting them to take action. 

At any point in time, you'll have people at different stages along these five levels of awareness:

  1. Unaware - They don't even know there is a problem.
  2. Proble...
Mark as Played
August 17, 2022 30 mins

My guest today is Joy Capps, author of Joyful Copy—How to Show Up in the Marketplace Ethically and Authentically. 

There are a lot of copywriting formulas and blueprints, and many ways to reach your audience. But not all ways line up with what we know to be ethical and true. Joy created her Joyful Copy framework to help us write marketing copy that isn’t slimy. Based on Galatians 5:22-23 and Philippians 4:8, her framework ...

Mark as Played

Every story gives us a chance to choose. Do we set up a “them and us” narrative, or will we do the work to offer another perspective?

Airbnb runs an ad featuring a family of shaggy “monsters” enjoying their vacation. the goal of the ad is to invite people to become hosts on the platform. It starts where many of us are when it comes to inviting strangers to stay in our homes–it’s a little scary. But then we see a delightful...

Mark as Played
July 26, 2022 15 mins

I got a message today from a supporter who needs to stop her monthly donations. I'm thinking of my friends in ministry who raise support–missionary support or raising funds for the ministry as a whole–and you’re on the field, you’re doing the work, and you get a message like this.

The temptation is to shrink back. The temptation is to say, "Well, people are hurting (they are) and so I feel bad asking for money to support t...

Mark as Played

How to make your fundraising materials more inviting and easier to read, so more people can join you in your life-changing mission. 

Support the show
Mark as Played

My interview with Katie Hornor, author of Flamingo Marketing: How to Leverage Unique, Stay Relevant and Change the World

[00:02:28]  Leverage your unique
[00:04:11]  Why mindset is so important
[00:06:03]  Doing hard things
[00:09:26]  Time management
[00:13:08]  Legacy
[00:14:03]  Details on the book

Katie has bonuses for you at

Support the show
Mark as Played

Popular Podcasts

    Current and classic episodes, featuring compelling true-crime mysteries, powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations.

    Crime Junkie

    If you can never get enough true crime... Congratulations, you’ve found your people.


    In order to tell the story of a crime, you have to turn back time. Every season, Investigative journalist Delia D'Ambra digs deep into a mind-bending mystery with the hopes of reigniting interest in a decades old homicide case.


    It’s a lighthearted nightmare in here, weirdos! Morbid is a true crime, creepy history and all things spooky podcast hosted by an autopsy technician and a hairstylist. Join us for a heavy dose of research with a dash of comedy thrown in for flavor.


    Unforgettable true crime mysteries, exclusive newsmaker interviews, hard-hitting investigative reports and in-depth coverage of high profile stories.

Advertise With Us

For You

    Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.


    © 2023 iHeartMedia, Inc.