Seven Powerful Stories Charities Can Tell

See Things Differently and how Breast Cancer Now used this to deliver a powerful message

Stories change lives

This is number 5 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 the next few blogs we will reveal seven of the most powerful story arcs that can help charities cut through the noise to reach and connect with your audience. 

If you don’t want to wait months for the full list – please email [email protected] to request a free booklet that outlines all 7 stories in one go! 🙂

The fifth blog in our series focuses on thinking outside the box. 

Story 5: See things differently

Summary

Stories showing how a moment of creative thinking can enable people to face even the hardest of challenges. 

Recipe

Present a seemingly irresolvable problem, and then reveal a different perspective and a creative approach to address the issue. 

Tip

If your problem is unusual, then show a creative solution using something your audience would regard as everyday or boring. One example is the Biro pen that Buzz Aldrin used to fix a broken switch on the moon lander, thereby enabling him and Neil Armstrong to return to Earth.

Why it works

There is nothing more demoralising than an unsolvable problem. When the puzzle remains locked, you begin to doubt your ability to solve whatever future challenges you may face. This creates low-level uncertainty, anxiety and fear. However, witnessing someone else using their ingenuity to face an ‘unsolvable’ problem, inspires hope. This bolt of inspiration is even more powerful if the solution is unusual, creative or strange.

The story reminds you that you haven’t tried everything, potential solutions remain untapped and that success may be just around the corner. These ‘creative solution stories’ can at first seem silly or humorous, but they speak to our deepest fears. For example, children who loved the ‘Home Alone’ movies learned that maybe they could protect themselves when no one else would.

Charity example

Mainstream example