In its mission, operation and results, your nonprofit is outstanding. The challenge: Making it stand out above the rest.

In San Diego County, that’s a tall order. You are one of 10,000 registered 501c3 nonprofits, several of which are in similar fields. Everyone is competing for attention; to keep funds flowing and good deeds ongoing.

From 2008-09, the nation’s 400 largest charities suffered an 11% drop in donations; the most severe decline in two decades. Charities overall, including smaller entities and private foundations, experienced a far less severe decline of 3.6%.

It appears that bigger may not be better. In a difficult economy, contributors may be more inclined to support smaller, hyper-local charities as opposed to faceless gargantuans. When people give time and money to a community-based organization, they enjoy a direct impact.

Small nonprofits should seize this opportunity to promote a warm, personalized connection between giver and recipient. Whether shared via print, website, YouTube, Twitter or Facebook, it’s a key strength and irresistible selling point.

I have helped nonprofits in an array of fields increase 1) name awareness and brand recognition; 2) donor base and donations; 3) clients, volunteers and participants. I know that weaving compelling stories into the fabric of your approach creates a heartwarming bond between you and your audience.

Who benefited from a donation to Hospice of the North Coast? A girl who lost her father to cancer when she was barely out of diapers, but who will receive a “Happy 16th Birthday! Love, Dad” card that she will cherish. Stories From the Heart

When FFA and 4-H student Emily Cary fulfills her lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian, she’ll have The Don Diego Fund to thank for investing in her future with a $5,000 college scholarship.

As profiled in its “Giving Stories,” Leichtag Family Foundation grants have made a powerful difference in people and the community.

I’m sure your nonprofit has equally compelling stories to share. Find them. Tell them. Profit from them.