People donate for emotional reasons rather than based on rational thinking. This is an established fact and we see it time and time again. We’ve seen it, for example, at emotionally charged fundraising dinners and during the odd nights of Ramadan, particularly the night of the 27th. Donors end up donating large amounts, more than they ever imagined.

But how can one trigger an emotional response from a target audience during other times of the year?

The secret is in Storytelling.

Storytelling is a well-known fundraising technique in the non-profit sector. Through storytelling, non-profits showcase the great work they are doing and the benefit they bring to people. Whether it involves solving a problem, filling in a void, or relieving someone’s stress, storytelling helps show the positive impact a non-profit has on society.

You see, through storytelling you take your target audience on a journey from thinking to feeling.

Once your audience starts feeling, they become more emotional and thus can empathize with you. Once they are in that state, they are more likely to respond to your call to action.

Now, let’s take a look at how storytelling fits in within Muslim communities.

Storytelling within a Masjid/Islamic Centre Community

If you sit down for a few moments and think about it, you’ll probably realize very quickly that each and every one of us has some sort of a story that links us to our locality’s Masjid. Some of us may have neglected Salah for a long time and with Allah’s guidance have decided to establish it through regular attendance of the local Masjid.

Person prostrating

Others may be parents who moved to a particular neighbourhood for no other reason than to be able to take their kids to a weekend Quran halaqa at a nearby Islamic centre. And others may be reverts who have a special bond with the local Masjid because that’s the place where they first took their shahada publicly. We all have our own unique story that brought us to our local Masjid.

There are lots of stories that can come out of our Masjids . Every event that takes place at the Masjid can generate one or multiple stories that showcase the great work it is doing for the community. Even each volunteer has a story that has lead them to make the decision to volunteer with the Masjid. And of course the members of the Masjid community have stories that show how they have benefited from the Masjid’s services.

Storytelling within an Islamic School

There are many alumni students who trace back the foundation of their Islamic identity to what they learned at their elementary and/or secondary Islamic schools. They each have a great story to share. Moreover, Islamic schools fill a big void that many parents have when it comes to their children’s education. They too have great stories to share. There is no shortage of inspiring stories in Islamic schools that can showcase the benefit they bring and the big void they fill.