Why We Exist and how Age UK used this to highlight the important work they do
Stories change lives
This is number 6 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 sixth blog in our series focuses on the biggest question of all.
Story 6: Why do we exist?
This is the story of your organisation. It’s not the mechanics of the work, but the reason why it exists.
Illustrate in the simplest, plainest language why your charity exists.
To help with the brainstorming process, complete this sentence using fewer than ten words in each blank:
Our purpose is …
and our work will be complete when …
Why it works
When someone talks passionately about a topic, it’s infectious. Passion is inspiring, attractive and convincing. The Halo Effect means that even if they’re not talking about a topic we initially cared about, we can still be powerfully affected.
For most commercial companies, this is tricky to pull off. Their slogan may be ‘Passionate about Widgets’ but we know that deep down they are only using that line because they think it will increase profits. Very few companies have true passion they can trade on.
The reverse is true for charities. The reason a charity exists is usually so important to the staff, stakeholders and supporters, that it drives everything they do. So, tell that story. Lead with your reason for existing. Not what you do, how, where or when you do it, but why you do it. Be as honest and as direct as possible – there’s no room for bland PR-speak. Passion and authenticity rule.