Every story is a journey, a trip from point A to point B. And, each journey has a destination. So, in order for your story to have a logical and sequential sequence from beginning to end, you need to decide on the journey your protagonist will take.
From popular culture: Dorothy travelled through Oz, seeking her way back home to Kansas. Little Red Riding Hood took a journey through the deep, dark woods to deliver a food basket to her ailing granny. Frodo journeyed far from the Shire so that he could toss the ring into the fires of Mount Doom.
As a fundraiser, you have many journeys you can tell stories about. A puppy journeys from his abusive home to being abandoned along the side of the road to an animal shelter to a loving forever home. A cancer patient journeys from her initial diagnosis to reaching a state of total remission. A mother and her kids journey from an abusive home to a shelter, to the freedom and safety of a new home and a fresh start.
The story in your journey can be either literal or figurative
If you’re working with a refugee relief agency, your story could be about a Syrian family that escapes the violence and war through Turkey and Germany to a new home and future in Canada. If you’re a post-secondary institution, the journey you choose could be a student’s search for self-confidence and purpose thanks to a donor-funded bursary.
Think of your story’s journey this way: As you’re creating your story, the journey can provide the sequence and structure of the plot. You could literally draw a map that shows the beginning, the ending and all the ups and downs in between. When you express the journey well, your audience will cross that bridge and take the journey alongside your protagonist.
Once you’ve mapped your protagonist’s journey, you’re well on your way to having the outline or skeleton of a really great story. So, pick your protagonist and cast of characters, and then send them on a journey that will bring your audience across the bridge to complete immersion in your magnificent story.
Fraser Green is a Principal at Good Works, one of Canada’s leading fundraising consulting agencies. At Good Works, Fraser’s focus is on legacy gift marketing strategy, donor research and, well, storytelling! Fraser is the co-author of “Iceberg Philanthropy” and “You Can’t Take It With You – The Art and Science of Legacy Fundraising” and the author of “3D Philanthropy.” email@example.com