Seven Powerful Stories Charities Can Tell

David beats Goliath and how Amnesty International stood up for human rights and injustice in 2020

Stories change lives

This is number 2 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 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 second blog in our seven part series focuses on overcoming adversity, even when the odds are against you!

Story 1: David beats Goliath 


The fable of David and Goliath is a powerful one, in which a small boy musters the courage to square up to a fearsome giant warrior.


A situation where something small (and good) stands up to something big (and bad). 


The ending of the story is not the most important aspect. A story in which a brave David does not win can still be inspirational. The key to this narrative is finding the courage to stand up for what you know is right, no matter what you face. 

Why it works

In our ancestral environment, the survival of the tribe relied on the bravery of individuals. If, at the first sight of danger, a member of the tribe made a noise and raised the alarm, he or she helped the tribe at the cost of being more visible to the approaching threat. 

This brave and selfless act improved the world for everyone, apart from the person doing it. This has led us humans to admire folk who put the needs of the tribe before their own. 

We all aspire to be brave, but often fear that we will fall short. When we hear tales of others who stood up to their foes, it inspires us to take on our own.

The bigger the opponent, and the more certain defeat appears to be, the more powerful the story.

JAWS movie poster