Ethical storytelling in nonprofit marketing and the importance of informed consent and a client-centric approach to safeguard nonprofit clients’ privacy, dignity, and overall well-being during the storytelling process, with Diana Farias Heinrich, CEO of Habra Marketing.  

Diana shares a personal experience where she unknowingly put a client at risk by sharing their story without fully considering the potential consequences. This experience drove her to establish a four-step process for informed consent conversations at nonprofits and charities:

Prep: Understand the intended end product and vet clients before approaching them for interviews.

Conducting the Interview: Build trust with clients, make them feel comfortable, and ensure they know they can say no at any point.

Stakeholder Test: Examine how the client and their community might react to the story when shared publicly.

Pass Back the Mic: After crafting the story, give clients the opportunity to review, make revisions, or reject it if they feel uncomfortable.

Diana also addresses the challenge of reusing old stories from the “vault” and suggests that organizations should establish an intentional storytelling rhythm while involving clients in the decision-making process.

This Best Practices discussion wraps up with a few words about revolutionizing storytelling by incorporating principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Diana advocates for changing the language used to describe people and being mindful of how words can impact individuals and communities.

Throughout the lively conversation, Diana underscores the necessity of a considerate, client-centered approach to storytelling in the nonprofit sector. She emphasizes the importance of informed consent and ethical practices to safeguard both clients and the reputation of organizations. She encourages nonprofits to embrace these best practices to create impactful and responsible storytelling campaigns. As she aptly puts it, “It’s doing the right thing.”