Using a Storyboard as a Powerful Marketing Tool

The Cramer Team


As we roll into 2021, content still reigns as king, and storytelling should be a key strategy of your marketing and communications plan.

Telling your nonprofit’s story boosts your brand, elevates your mission, and builds trust and loyalty with your constituents, who will then continue to share your story over and over again.

To help tell your story, use a storyboard, a powerful marketing tool to add to your toolkit.

What’s a storyboard?

A storyboard is a one-page planning document that captures ideas, imagery and messaging used to connect your stakeholders to your nonprofit’s mission, story, new service, next campaign, etc. This marketing and organizational tool is especially powerful when planning your #GivingTuesday or year-end giving strategies.

How do I create one?

It’s simple, download our free Storyboard Template to get started. Determine 5-7 themes and topics that enhance your story: history, colors, imagery, mission-impact moments, testimonials and quotes. Create a box for each theme so you can organize your thoughts.

How do I use it?

Arm your Marketing and Fundraising Teams with the storyboard template. Assign them to individually reflect on each theme and write down as many ideas as possible. Remember, no idea is a bad one.

Once everyone has had time to reflect, gather the team for a brainstorming session. Doing this exercise as a group generates far more ideas.

Start by discussing the themes on the outside of the storyboard (history, colors, imagery) and work your way to the center/key message.

Have each team member participate by sharing their ideas. This part of the storyboard process is the most fun and can really spark important conversations. You’ll see how one idea can quickly build off others, creating a cohesive plan complete with imagery, mission-impact moments and key messaging.


Cramer & Associates is a nationally recognized philanthropic consulting firm that has been serving nonprofit organizations, corporations and foundations since 1987. Our full-service firm offers clients a wide range of services, including feasibility studies, campaigns, strategic planning, board training, development audits, events, executive searches and much more. The Cramer Team identifies organizations’ strengths and opportunities and develops campaigns that succeed, empowering organizations to impact their communities.

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