How to Inspire Action and Social Change through Video Storytelling


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  • This is our sharable content.
  • So although storytelling has always been a part of who we are, it has undergone a dramatic transformation. Storytelling has been democratized.  It's is no longer limited by short term memory or words on a page, today the real challenge is the limits of our attention spans.  [tabs open at any given time] The power is no longer in the hands of top-down storytellers to shape our cultural narratives. Now, There are new engines of influence. Peer to peer sharing is how ideas are spread. So while stories have always been how we create our identity,  social media allows us to craft our individual story with a new sense purpose and intentionality.  Whether we think of ourselves in these roles or not, with social media we are all marketers, we are all branders and we are all storytellers.  By sharing statuses and content, we project our personal story to the world at a scale that was previously unthinkable.  Every time we share something we are making a statement about what is important to us and who we are. We are now all story sharers. We share stories that reflect who we want to be. Your job as a non-profit is to understand how you can share your story in way that motivates your audience to share it.
  • You have to figure out how can make your story part of your audience's story.  Your job as an organization is to inspire them, make them feel like they are a part of something and to create content that they will want to share, that feels like a gift to them. because here's the reality: The power is in the hands of your supporters. They will be the engines of fundraising and advocacy. So here's what's exciting:  How can your organization cut through the clutter and create content that will be meaningful to your supporters?  You have to tell a story that resonates, we believe video is the best way to do that. 
  • Recently I read a great article about story sharing by  Thaler Pekar  from the stanford social innovation review, which she ended by saying  that communication is more than transactional. Communication can be transformative. We whole heartedly agree, and we think a cinematic experience is the most powerful way to allow people to deeply connect with your subject, to empathize, and ultimately to act.  Research shows that when we see other humans experiencing an emotion, mirror neurons fire and make us feel the same emotion.  Mirror neurons read facial expressions and replicate that feeling of another person as if we were feeling it ourself. Seeing someones face and hearing their story in a cinematic way allows us to feel connected to people that we would never otherwise never get the chance to meet.  Video creates empathy in a way other mediums can't.  In the last three years, the landscape of digital video production has changed immensely.  Web video has now become the paradigm for online communication. 80% of internet users watch online video for an average of 20 minutes a day.  If your a non-profit, this means that video offers an oppurtunity to create an immersive and highly shareable experience, but you have to do it right. and my partner Annie is going to show you how.
  • Ask: What kind of video can we create that will lead us to our desired outcome? How can we create a distribution or campaign strategy that will tap the inspiration our video created and turn it into meaningful action?
  • What is the one simple idea that you want your audience to understand when  they finish watching your video?
  • When brainstorming for your story, ask your team members to share the stories they tell others when they talk about why they care about their work. Think about the stories that choke you up. You need to identify stories that are inherently shareable.
  • Create content that is a gift to your supporters. Is this content sharable? What will it say about my audience when they share it? Why would they be compelled to share this with friends and family?  How will this enhance your audience's reputation if they spread it?
  • Create a pre-production, production, post-production, and distribution timeline.  • Identify assets and resources. Do you have archival footage that is useful? Equipment? Access to celebrities? Visual programs? Charismatic leader? Play to your  strengths. • Identify gaps. What staff and equipment are available? Do you have access to  editing software? Are your programs non-visual? Do your program participants  have privacy concerns? Is your issue very sensitive? Brainstorm how you can  creatively overcome these challenges.  • Assign roles. What roles will your staff play? How can they participate as producers for the piece? Which roles will you fill and which will be consolidated?  (See Definitions for an overview of top roles.) • Budget. What are the projected costs of the project? How will you fund it? Can  you seek grants or outside funding sources? Are there pro bono opportunities  available?
  • Instead of highlighting naturally dynamic stories, non-profits tend to follow their first instinct when creating video. They represent their organization from their own point of view. I can ’t tell you how many times we’ve been approached by non-profits who tell us they want a video about a particular program. But videos about programs don’t actually tell a story. A program is not a protagonist. Programs themselves don ’t make people feel connected to anyone. People respond to stories about people they can relate to. People like themselves, their colleagues, their neighbors, and their families. Your organization ’s job is to run your programs well. That’s why you care about systems, logistics and metrics. But your audience cares about you because they want to be  a part of something that matters.  They want to be a part of your  vision . Don ’t try to convince your audience that they should see the world in the same way you do, meet them where they are at.
  • BRAC Story Scarce knowledge is power. Banal information is not sharable. Uncomplicated language is sharable. 
  • These are the best tools for  getting people to care. Impact  stories tell the story of an  individual whose life has been  changed by your organization.  Let that individual tell their  own story whenever possible.  Their own perspective on your  work creates credibility and  emotional connections.  mirror neurons kick in.
  • tell inclusive stories So as an organization or as an individual changemaker you have a story about the how the world is and how the world should be. and the question is: how can you make that story resonate in a way that will inspire your audience to imagine their future in a new way, in which they can see themself as a part of your vision.
  • This is an opportunity to inspire. example: BRAC girl effect
  • Aimed at organizations that want to highlight issues that exist through the people that experience them, 70% struggle and 30% hope whereas impact stories it 􏰀s the other way around.
  • charity:water invisible children
  • Visions drive movements so if you want to make people feel like they are a part something you have to create an idea of the world that makes them say I want that too. Vision is big picture impact is practical. Vision for inpsiration, impact for connection.
  • If a problem is framed in a larger way, oftentimes people feel overwhelmed. It 􏰀s the drop in the bucket syndrome. People just feel like anything they can g. Individuals make people that their action can actually have an impact. The law of diminishing returns kicks in.
  • simple: if you say 3 things, you say nothing. unexpected: Expose the parts of your message that are uncommon sense and use them in the service of a core message. credible: let people speak for themselves concrete: focus on one particular story that has a beginning middle and end emotional: make them feel something
  • Anecdotes are great for making change feel real. When you are talking about someone 􏰀s life being changed by your organization ask them to tell you a story of how the org has effected their everyday life.
  • promotes ownership
  • y inspire us by appealing to our appreciation for perseverance and courage. These stories inspire us to act. Impact videos or campaign videos
  • movement portrait and impact stories
  • campaign video, impact story, vision video ex. BRAC community action story
  • This is our sharable content.
  • How to Inspire Action and Social Change through Video Storytelling

    1. 1. How to Inspire Action and Social Change through Video Storytelling! Presented by Rob Wu, CauseVox and Annie Escobar of ListenIn Pictures!
    2. 2. How this webinar works•  A link to the slides and a recording will be sent after the webinar•  If you’d like to ask a question during the webinar, you can type it in the box on the right side of your screen•  Tweet about this webinar using the hashtag #fgwebinar
    3. 3. Who is FirstGiving
    4. 4. Online Fundraising SolutionsPeer-to-Peer Fundraising Pages and Event Registrations Online Direct Donations Personal Support for your nonprofit, donors, and fundraisers Easy, tested, and secure transaction processes for the donor
    5. 5. About the Presenters! Rob Wu, ! Annie Escobar,CauseVox! ListenIn Pictures !
    6. 6. Download the free e-book and worksheet:
    7. 7. Storytelling has been democratized.
    8. 8. Your job is to catalyze youraudience to be story-sharers.
    9. 9. Why Video for Storytelling?
    10. 10. 3 Most Common Mistakes Non-Profits Make With Video: 1. Eagerness Without Intentionality 2. Program Trap 3. Lack of a Distribution Strategy
    11. 11. Create a plan that is oriented towards your goals.Solving Problem 1: EagernessWithout Intentionality
    12. 12. Step 1: Examine Motivationand Resources
    13. 13. Who is your target audience?What is your vision?What makes you different?What is your personality?Step 2: Build the Foundation
    14. 14. Step 3: Develop the Core Message
    15. 15. Step 4: Refine the Story1. Brainstorm a story that willcommunicate core message2. Define protagonist and thetrain3. Confirm visual approach4. Develop the story structure
    16. 16. Will this video be meaningful to our supporters?Is this content sharable?Step 5: Check Back In
    17. 17. Fundraising | Advocacy | EngagementStep 6: Set Goals
    18. 18. decide Budget | Outsourcing | TimelineStep 7: Logistics
    19. 19. Problem 2: The Program Trap Solution: Tell Compelling Stories
    20. 20. Tell stories that are SHARABLE.
    21. 21. Powerful Non-profit Video GenresWhat videos work?
    22. 22. Its not what you do, but why you do it.Impact Stories
    23. 23. What vision unites your supporters?What inspires them to take action?Movement Portraits
    24. 24. What kind of world do you want to create?What is unique about how are you makingthat happen?Theory of Change.Vision Video
    25. 25. What is the experience of the people whoare affected by your issue?Advocacy Film
    26. 26. What big/achievable goal are you trying toachieve & why does your supportersactions matter?Campaign Launch Film
    27. 27. Tell impact stories and create a campaign.Microsites/Online Annual Reports
    28. 28. Its all about vision and impact.Ingredients of videos that inspire
    29. 29. Focus on one individual.Ingredients of videos that inspire
    30. 30. Simple.Unexpected.Credible.Concrete.Emotional.Story.Made to Stick
    31. 31. Tell anecdotes thatdemonstrate transformation.
    32. 32. Make your organization a movement. We all want to belong.
    33. 33. 3 plots proven to inspire
    34. 34. A protagonist succeeds against an enemy.Challenge plot
    35. 35. People develop a connection over a divide.Connection plot
    36. 36. Someone makes a breakthrough.Creativity Plot
    37. 37. Metrics Study: Campaign & Video!Total Raised:$1,203,072 Average Raised: $80,205 Sampled 15 successful online fundraising campaigns
    38. 38. Metrics Study: Campaign & Video! 90 % of campaigns used video
    39. 39. Metrics Study: Campaign & Video! Campaign that raised the least did not use a video
    40. 40. Metrics Study: Campaign & Video! Top 3 highest grossing campaigns told impact stories.
    41. 41. Metrics Study: Campaign & Video! 121 seconds average length of video
    42. 42.
    43. 43.
    44. 44.
    45. 45. What else has to happen?!-  Social tools-  Campaign toolkits-  Boilerplate text-  Coaching
    46. 46. Download the free e-book and worksheet:
    47. 47. Continue the conversation. @ListenInPict @causevox
    48. 48. " Thank you! ! ! ! Questions?!
    49. 49. Be a part of the FirstGiving Community Facebook: Twitter: @firstgiving Online Fundraising blog:
    50. 50. Interested in learning more about FirstGiving?Contact our Online Fundraising Consultants: Email: Telephone: 617-542-0010 x 4