Stories that achieve real and meaningful change don’t just materialize—they’re strategically conceived, creatively executed and attached to measurable outcomes.

Your storytelling strategy is all about the big picture: laying the foundation of your organization’s narrative, identifying the audiences your stories will speak to and, most importantly, setting goals and objectives for your work.

You’ve got ideas and feel good about your strategic goals, but does your organization make digital storytelling a priority? The truth is, you can’t do it alone: a storytelling practice can only be sustained by a team of people. You’ll need agreement from the top to ensure that storytelling is a priority for your organization, so let’s create a game plan for getting it done.

Your first step should be establishing the overarching story—the “narrative”—that helps provide structure and consistency for all of the individual stories your organization wants to tell.

Creating Your Narrative Framework

Before you begin crafting individual stories, you need a broader narrative about your organization and your work. This narrative will define why your organization exists, the people you serve and how you aim to accomplish your goals. Think of it as a “master narrative” that will guide you in the development of individual stories, to ensure that they all advance the same strategic ideas.

Let’s map out what this process looks like for your organization by describing the big ideas you want to convey.

Throughout the exercises below, we’ve included examples from an organization whose mission is to help more American students complete high school with a diploma.

Narrative framework
  1. People Served: The people most affected by your cause.
  2. Goals: Your audience’s hopes for their lives.
  3. Problem: What stands between the people you serve and their long-term goals.
  4. Solutions: Concrete, tangible ways your organization addresses the problem and improves lives.
  5. Call to action: A message that creates a sense of purpose and offers the opportunity for people to take a specific action.

Key Lesson Establishing the Basics

In this lesson, you will answer basic questions about your organization to help us provide customized content for you.

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Key Lesson People and Goals

In this lesson, you will describe your organization’s goals and the people you serve.

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Key Lesson Problems, Solutions and CTA

In this lesson, you will describe the problems faced by the people you serve, the solutions to these problems and an effective call to action for your audiences to be a part of the solution.

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Key Lesson Audiences and Objectives

In this section, you will outline how each supporter or audience group can best help you achieve your goals.

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