In reading this New York Times article about engaging Millennials in your cause, one paragraph caught my marketing eye:
Millennials expect transparency, sophisticated storytelling and technical savvy from their charitable organizations. And many donors will not only give money, but will also volunteer and lend the force of their own social networks to a cause they believe in.
People in poverty lack money. It seems obvious that the best way to end their poverty is to give them money. Increasingly, studies support this obvious approach to reducing poverty. Yet the vast majority of poverty-reduction organizations and agencies offer goods and services, not cash. What is the impact on nonprofits of giving cash to poor people?
In the social and public sectors, internal branding with staff, funders, donors and volunteers matters. One area where this is apparent, even critical, is nonprofit administrative costs. These costs are also known as operations, overhead, infrastructure, or as one commentator put it: Things-we-need-in-order-to-do-our-job-of-helping-people-dammit.
Marketing, especially in the public and social sectors, often targets changing the behavior of individuals and groups. We all know that changing behaviors is hard. If change was easy, we’d all lose weight, save more money for retirement and get enough sleep at night. As a marketer, how do you design and promote organizational change?
Stories impact and motivate us, and a picture is worth a thousand words. Knowing how to use visual storytelling methods to tell your story–sometimes that’s difficult for public and social sector marketers who aren’t trained designers or have access to design help.
Use this story format wheel from Culture Lab to explore your options for visual storytelling and choose the method that best fits your goals.
The American Marketing Association definition of marketing centers on the concept of offerings: “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” A prime design question for this blog then becomes what should public and social sector organizations offer that has value for both clients and society at large?
Lucky Iron Fish is a certified B Corp working to improve health around the world, starting in Cambodia. They’ve made a short video, with the help of Google, to tell their organization’s origin story. The video is a great two-minute organizational narrative example that uses the five parts of Joseph Campbell’s mythological story form to tell an compelling story:
In my series on organizational narrative, I’ve shown you how to structure a master narrative where your organization is the hero on a journey to defeat powerful forces and restore harmony. After all, that is what you’re doing, right?
One popular post on this blog covers the villains, victims and heroes in organizational storytelling. This triad of characters has driven stories for thousands of years. Starting in the 1800s with authors such as Edgar Allen Poe and Wilkie Collins, writers focused on the theme of crime using a specialized triad of characters: criminal, victim, and sleuth. You can use these roles in your organizational storytelling.