Seven Powerful Stories Charities Can Tell

Change is Possible and how Donate Life America used true stories to boost registrations

Stories change lives

This is number 4 of a 7 part series focussing on the most powerful stories charities can tell. 

For hundreds of thousands of years, humans have used stories to connect with each other, to learn important information and to feel part of a shared culture. A love of stories is hard-wired into us and profoundly affects the way we operate in the modern world (for more info on this, and if you like a saucy title, please see the previous blog – Why Stories are just as important as Food and Sex).

To state the obvious, it is really important that charities can harness the power of storytelling to open people’s hearts, minds and wallets. 

Over this blog series we have shared seven of the most powerful story arcs that can help charities cut through the noise to reach and connect with their audience. 

If you’ve enjoyed the series, or missed a few along the way, you can email [email protected] to request a free booklet that outlines all seven stories in one go! 🙂

The fourth blog in our series focuses on making your audience believe that change is not only a good thing, but that it is also possible.

Story 4: Change is possible


A real-world story which challenges your audience’s belief that the problem at hand is insurmountable, will open them up to rethinking their other entrenched beliefs on the topic. 


Walk your audience through one story, showing how an aspect of a seemingly impossible problem was solved. 


This case study does not have to be typical, nor do you need to pretend that it is. Even outliers have the power to force a re-think. If you believe all swans to be white, the appearance of even just one black swan will trigger the re-think. 

Why it works

When we encounter problems we judge to be unsolvable, we do our best to ignore them, no matter their significance. Many charities face destructive audience apathy, ultimately growing from their resignation that “nothing can be done.” If you’re able to tell a story subverting this belief, demonstrating that change is possible, it can lead your audience to re-evaluate their whole understanding of your topic. 

Look for real-world examples of stories that fly in the face of your audience’s fatalistic preconceptions. Once they start to re-assess their initial judgement, they will be much more receptive.

By successfully opening in this way, you’ll gain the opportunity to tackle other related misconceptions and erroneous, harmful beliefs.

Charity example

Mainstream example

Lord of the Rings Trilogy Film Poster