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The Power of Visual Storytelling

Is visual storytelling on your nonprofit’s radar?

Nowadays, visual storytelling is cheaper and more in-demand than ever before. If you consider that you’ll generate up to 94% more post views by adding compelling visual content, incorporating visual storytelling into your nonprofit’s media strategy is a no-brainer.

Images are immensely powerful. Not only do they increase your web traffic, but they have the ability to shift public opinion by searing a social issue into our consciousness. They offer glimpses into other people’s worldviews, cultivate empathy, and often, they have the power to galvanize public support.

Images Mobilize People

In August 2016, a video of Omran Daqneesh, a young child from Syria, went viral. The video followed Omran’s rescue after an airstrike in the Syrian city of Aleppo. His shell-shocked face came to symbolize the plight of Syrian refugees. This film, while devastating, has shaped our conceptualization of the Syrian Civil War. People from around the world were moved to action, which resulted in an outpouring of support for NGOs like Syria Civil Defence, SAMS Foundation, and Unicef.

Photographer Guinnevere Shuster has similarly harnessed the power of visual storytelling to create positive change for the dogs at the Humane Society of Utah. She volunteered to shoot a quirky photo series that showcased each dog’s unique personality and individual story. The results have been drastic. 93.26% of the dogs are now finding new homes thanks to this visual campaign!

The strength of visual storytelling lies in its ability to quickly create a strong emotional connection with a very broad audience. It’s not hard to imagine how you can leverage this medium to benefit your nonprofit and the communities you serve.

What is visual storytelling?

It may be helpful to define this new, somewhat elusive term. Simply, visual storytelling is a narrative that is told through the mode of visual media. The story may include elements of video, still photography, and illustration. It is often supplemented with music, graphics, audio, and voice recordings. The demand for visual storytelling is growing tremendously, with top brands like GoPro and American Express incorporating it into their marketing strategies. Nonprofits like charity:water have likewise found visual storytelling fundamental in sharing their impact stories, broadcasting their mission, and securing funding from donors.

Why is Visual Storytelling Effective?

The reason why visual storytelling is so effective is because we process images 60,000 times faster than text. The human brain is wired for images. In fact, 90% of information transmitted to our brains is visual. Effective visual storytelling can make someone remember a cause or campaign for years. Furthermore, if you engage your core volunteer and donor base via strong visual storytelling, they are more likely to share your content on their social networks. In turn, this will exponentially increase the scope of your message which will boost engagement, support, and inspire action.

If you’re just beginning to grow your social following via visual storytelling, we’re here to help. Galaxy Digital is committed to the success of nonprofits who promote social change in our communities; our future is linked with yours.

Stay tuned for our toolkit which will contain:

  • a discussion on how visual storytelling works, why it’s compelling, and how you can use it
  • a real life case study of a nonprofit who successfully uses storytelling
  • a demonstration of how to craft your own storytelling piece
  • a toolkit that will get your nonprofit started on the path to success 
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