Case Stories

Junior Achievement: Engaging supporters through a storytelling campaign

| Updated November 29, 2017

Use personal stories to make data more compelling

Junior Achievement (JA) is an international nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire young people to succeed in a global economy. Our organization partners with thousands of business volunteers to help young people make the connection between academic and professional success.

Traditionally, Junior Achievement has been very good at telling people what we do and how we do it. However, we've struggled to communicate the larger "Why JA" message. The reason is simple: passion is messy. It doesn't have a one-size-fits-all answer and doesn't fit neatly into 140 characters.

We hear stories about why Junior Achievement matters from passionate JA champions every day and each one of them is unique, personal and worth sharing. In the past, we routed some of these stories internally or maybe even in an occasional social media post. However, the majority of these stories were told and then lost.

Because these anecdotes make up the larger "Why JA" story, we needed a way to capture, preserve and share them. This is now possible thanks to JAMatters.org, an online crowdsourcing platform that invites users to share their passion for Junior Achievement by completing the phrase "JA matters to me because ..." Campaign entries may be submitted in writing, with a photo or through video. Outstanding entries are shared across communication platforms, including social media channels, websites, funding proposals and blogs.

JAMatters.org:

  • Provides a larger picture of Junior Achievement's impact
  • Meets strategic goals, such as recruiting alumni volunteers
  • Positions Junior Achievement as a modern, relevant organization
  • Increases engagement among a community of Junior Achievement supporters
  • Builds Junior Achievement's contact list, which supports marketing efforts
  • Improves brand sentiment
  • Is easily replicable for any other nonprofit organization

We're proud of what we've accomplished so far, and we hope that other nonprofits can benefit from our idea: an easy way to engage supporters and allow them to share why their organization matters.

For more from Junior Achievement, visit Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain, Inc.

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Director of Foundation and Individual Giving, Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain, Inc.