The primary mission of a social enterprise is to solve a complex social or environmental problem that may not have a single solution and most often requires changing mindsets, bringing mass awareness and nudging a positive action from the general populace. Telling visual stories create instant connection and help deliver a powerful message. Social good stories can be broadly categorized based on the purpose they serve and the message they deliver as:
- Cause Stories
- Impact Stories
- Entrepreneurial Stories
- Product Stories
Few Cause Stories from around the world
World Water Day Video by Charity Water
22nd March is celebrated worldwide as World Water.Charity:water, a nonprofit works to bring clean drinking water to the remote areas of Africa and Asia by sensitizing the masses against water wastage and paucity of potable water to countless families in the world. In the video below, released just before World Water Day 2009, charity:water does a great job at showcasing the fact that more than 1 billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean drinking water, stirring voluntary participation from them.
Photo project on Children in Kenya and Bangladesh for World Vision by David duChemin
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian non-profit organization that works to give a better life to children from Bottom of Pyramid across the world by giving them access to education and good living conditions. David duChemin through his photography project for World Vision captured the dreams that played on the children’s faces and their desire for a bright future reflected through their smiles.
Goonj: 100 stories of change – Sujni
Led by the Clothing Man of India and Ramon Magsaysay Award recipient Anshu Gupta, Goonj has not only brought relief but also rehabilitation to people from rural India by involving them in making clothing out of waste and scrap materials. Through 100 stories of change, Goonj showcases how they have changed the lives of so many people by making them self-reliant through their countless initiative. Here’s one such story – Sujni.
Conveying Cause Stories
Social good brands and Nonprofits work towards specific causes of socio-cultural or environmental importance. According to a study by Bain and company, promoting basic education(54%) and child welfare(41%) are the leading causes in India in which majority of social good organizations operate. Welfare of senior citizens (38%), disaster relief (38%), public health care (36%), disability (25%), environment (11%) and arts and culture (10%) are some of the other key causes. No matter what the cause, stories that address a cause revolve around creating a sustainable solution to a problem. This can happen only by educating its viewers and finally inciting positive action from them. Say, in order to get people to sponsor a child’s education, the story should sensitize the viewers to the gravity of ground-level reality (58% of children never complete primary education). It should focus on what has been done so far to address the problem at hand, what more can be done to solve it and how is your social enterprise going beyond just problem solving to generate a long term positive impact – imparting art and craft training to children and helping them earn money out of whatever they make. Additional skills and a small earning can secure their future. The story needs to conclude with a strong call to action which in this case is a donation.
Cause Storytelling is the art of enlightening and motivating people so that they contribute positively to a nonprofit’s efforts. Dividends are plenty if the right story is told.