The Art of Storytelling

by Cynthia Price
Director of Communications

At ChildFund we know that the individual circumstances of every child are unique, and the communities and countries in which they live are often very different. We also know that our supporters – through their sponsorships and donations – provide interventions that can move children from being the victims in a tragic story being told the world over, to one where they are authors of their own, more hopeful narratives.

Our President and CEO Anne Lynam Goddard frequently references this goal when she speaks. As a communications person, I am drawn to the idea of children authoring a hopeful narrative for their life story.

One of the things we aspire to do well at ChildFund is to share those narratives. We’ve been meeting in recent weeks to figure out how we can do this better. Should we ask youth to journal and share their entries through our Web site? Should we tell the stories through videos? Should we interview children and youth and tell their stories for them in traditional feature writing format? We think it will be a combination of these ideas and others.

We want to tell stories well and develop our signature style. That requires incorporating the voices of young people and illuminating their role as actors in their own development and success as they transition through life’s stages.

We already have some great content from the 31 countries in which we work, but we don’t always make it easy to get to. We’re working to change that. We also want to allow user comments, share more video and enable you to commit further if you are interested by linking you to areas where you can donate.

Through our Web site and our social media, we want to use stories to connect you better to the children whose lives you impact and also to explain the why and how behind ChildFund. We want to create a user experience that is worth your time.

If you have suggestions on how to do that better, we’d love to hear from you.

2 Responses to The Art of Storytelling

  • Cynthia,
    Hey neighbor! At the blood center we have been considering something along the same lines. I was a speaker at a national social media conference in D.C. last year and one of the other speakers on our panel talked about this website: http://www.thankyourdonor.com .

    The website was created to let recipients of blood, platelets, plasma or stem cells say “Thank you” to their donors and attract new people to give blood by sharing their stories. The nice part about the site is it includes both written stories and videos. It invites others to share their story.

    When you scroll over the blood drops, the personal stories pop up (Very Cool Feature!). I could see ChildFund doing something similar, but instead of blood drops, countries representing where you are helping children.

    Hope this helps. We can talk offline, or heck, I’ll walk over.

    Brian Chandler
    Director of Public Relations
    Virginia Blood Services

  • I sponsor a girl in Sierra Leone through ChildFund, and live in Richmond. Once a year, I get a pamphlet describing the work you are doing in her community. More than just on an individual level of knowing Posseh’s accomplishments, I love the format of getting a story of the work ChildFund does in the community. Knowing that the greater community is receiving services, especially teaching on sustainable growing, ensures that Posseh will be able to become a thriving adult.

    I would love to see this done in an “issue format.” For example goal 1. food sustainability and subsequent actions, teaching and progress, goal 2. medical needs… also, I would love to know what ChildFund teaches communities regarding FGM, especially in a country where the rate is so high.

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