Storytelling For A Good Cause

At MPRM Communications, we are privileged to work with some amazing storytellers, from independent filmmakers to entrepreneurs who set out to change the world. But just like the proverbial shoemaker’s children who go without shoes, they often need help in crafting their own stories. Because it is our business, we are also keen observers of other practitioners of the art of storytelling, whether in service of an issue, business, promotion or simply to entertain. What we plan to undertake here is a weekly look at the different ways storytelling can be used from transporting audiences to motivating change to building a business or creating awareness.

Was your post-Thanksgiving inbox exploding this week? It wasn’t just about great Cyber Monday deals, most likely it was also outreach from a broad array of organizations who have embraced Giving Tuesday to raise awareness and funds for their cause or institution.

Surprisingly, Giving Tuesday has only been around since 2012. It launched via a partnership between the 92nd Street Y in New York and the United Nations Foundation with a hashtag, some publicity and suggestions about how organizations could participate. Now an independent organization, Giving Tuesday has grown exponentially in terms of participation and donors according to Vox.

And it’s not just email solicitations. Giving Tuesday has inspired lots of creative fundraising efforts. For example, MPRM client Outfest hosted its first annual virtual fundraiser, ’Twas the Night Before Give-mas: A Virtual Benefit Variety Fundraiser, on Monday, the night before annual Giving Tuesday.

High profile creators like Lilly Singh and Liza Koshy used the Instagram Live Donations tool for fundraising efforts, with 100% of all funds raised going directly to the nonprofit of their choosing. According to Tubefilter, Singh partnered with Charlize Theron to raise funds for Theron’s Africa Outreach Program, which fights HIV, while Koshy campaigned for the Equal Justice Initiative, which works to end mass incarceration and racial inequality.

One of the reasons that Giving Tuesday has grown so quickly — besides being a brilliant idea — is the willingness of companies and foundations alike to match donor funds. Donors took advantage of organizations as diverse as LA 2050 which encouraged Angelenos to support their local community organizations; Facebook then matched $7 million dollars in qualifying donations to make their dollars go further.

I thought the most effective fundraisers were those who didn’t wait until Tuesday to start their outreach, were creative about their approach and told inspiring stories. Donor matching also made a difference!

Here’s an idea — Let’s consider extending the giving spirit for the remaining Tuesdays of 2020. There is certainly enough need.