When looking to communicate the positive social impact of your organisation, it’s important to choose the right story to share. Here are a few examples of the types of stories that you could tell, and what to consider when telling these.
The Beneficiary Story
The Most Impactful
A beneficiary story is the most effective way to communicate your impact. There's is nothing more powerful than someone describing the way an organisation has changed or saved their life.
Ask the Question
From our experience, people who have been positively impacted by an organisation’s work are, more often than not, happy to be involved because they want to give something back.
Collaboration Is Key
Work with the participant to help them tell their story (rather than telling their story for them).
Beneficiaries have often experienced disadvantage and are vulnerable, so your usual approach may need to be adapted. You may need to work closely with case workers to ensure the experience for the beneficiary is a positive one. It’s also a good idea to work with a production company that has experience with people in vulnerable situations.
Archie was diagnosed with right nasal rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare cancer. His family stayed with Ronald McDonald House for over a year, while Archie received the treatment he needed.
The Staff Member Story
Branch Out From the CEO
The first port of call for a video is usually to roll out the CEO and other senior executives, however a perspective from a staff member or volunteer that is on the ground and close to the project can be more engaging.
Give Staff the Confidence to Go Off Script
It can be tempting to load up your staff with pages of talking points and key messages, but this can lead to a less engaging delivery and a missed opportunity to get some unique and authentic insights. Ask them a few questions and allow them to express their passion for what they do.
Often CEOs, founders, staff members and volunteers have an inspiring personal journey that led them to work for your organisation or champion a program. If they’re comfortable sharing, tap into their personal motivations to create a stronger emotional connection with the audience.
Tim served in the Royal Australian Army for 14 years, exiting the army with acute injuries. An RSL Victoria Advocate helped him access the help he needed, and Tim now works as an Advocate himself.
The Supporter Or Stakeholder Story
Reflect Your Audience
Supporters and other stakeholders will respond positively to seeing themselves reflected in a video. This can empower them to take the same actions as the person sharing their story.
Third Party Endorsement
Having someone outside your organisation speak positively about you can come across as more believable and authentic.
A Way to Say Thanks
Asking a supporter or stakeholder to be involved in your video can be a great way to show how much you value their support and your ongoing partnership.
Betty started her journey with Guide Dogs Victoria as a volunteer walking the puppies. Before she died, she left a gift in her Will to ensure the wonderful work of the organisation would continue.
To increase engagement, we suggest telling more than one person’s story. Tell diverse stories of people with different gender, age, sexuality, and/or cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and from different parts of your organisation.
This could mean creating a series of videos or using a combination of people to bring a story together.
Want to learn more? Download our Guide to Storytelling for Social Impact to see how you can use storytelling to create awareness about your impact, engage your supporters and influence real social change.
If you are working to make the world a better place, we'd love to hear from you.