Strategic Marketing - It's Annual Report Time for "Fiscal Year" Programs
Five Ways to Use the "OurStory" Package To Promote Your Equal Justice Agenda

The key to developing more sustainable funding is being able to deliver a compelling “story” to potential funders and partners about the value your program delivers, promoting their vital interests. Every program has a powerful story. But too often it is hidden in the day to day work. We aren’t telling it. Often, we aren’t even seeing it.

The OurStory strategic marketing package is about surfacing and telling your program’s story. It is more than glossy materials. It is a creative process for capturing and describing the value your program is delivering to specific stakeholders who control the resources you need.

This brief article provides five tips for using the OurStory package to promote greater understanding of your mission, increased support from your stakeholders and more resources for serving your clients.

1. Make it a priority. Sending out an OurStory Report is an excuse to communicate in a powerful way with current and potential funders — the people in a position to finance your growth agenda. Your OurStory Report can be a great tool for building awareness, reinforcing relationships and differentiating your program from other non-profits. The OurStory strategic marketing package makes it easy for your program to have a compelling Annual Report and a variety of complementary "Target Audience" brochures.

2. Tell a powerful story. Make it about results. Community leaders get tons of annual reports. Many are not compelling. It's no wonder they get tossed after a quick skim. This is not about pretty graphics -- most annual reports look nice but don't tell a powerful story. By presenting the benefits your program delivers to the community, your report will stand way above the crowd. The OurStory report captures and describes the outcomes your program delivers for clients and communities.

3. Get it to the people who count. Every stakeholder should receive a personal copy of your OurStory Report. Recipients should include:

  • Client community leaders

  • Your staff

  • Funders

  • Donors

  • State legislators and key staffers

  • City and county elected officials and agency heads

  • Community partner agencies

  • The judiciary

  • The private bar

  • Other legal services providers in your service area and state

4. Target the message. Each segment of your audience will be impressed by specific kinds of results. Some interests will overlap -- for example, all will be attracted to compelling success stories about impacts on the lives of clients. Other interests will be more distinct; for example, the judiciary may be especially impressed by your services for self-represented litigants. Legislators can discover your program as a valuable source of constituent services. The OurStory package includes single-theme, "target audience" brochures in addition to an Annual Report describing the core services your program provides.

5. You have their attention for three minutes. Make it count. Your primary audience -- people who command resources -- are busy people who get flooded with paper. The OurStory report is easy to skim, with the major themes in bold headlines. It uses the tricks the communication pros use to grab readers' interest -- headlines, call-outs, "info-graphics," photos, sidebars and vignettes.

The OurStory package is a great investment in strategic marketing. Use it throughout the year. Post it on your web site. Use excerpts in your newsletter. It will pay off many times over in terms of a better-informed staff, greater understanding of your mission, increased support from your stakeholders and more resources for serving your clients.

For more information about the OurStory strategic marketing package, call The Resource or visit our web site at

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