February 03, 2012

The Power of Stories in Social Change

Courtesy of Invisible People

Mark Horvath uses a video camera, social media tools, and his website,, to tell the stories of homeless Americans.

Many nonprofit leaders understand the value of telling stories to connect with potential donors or to inspire action by supporters. But they struggle to find creative ways to tell stories—especially because they are often more focused on helping the people they serve than they are with documenting the experience.

How can nonprofits tell attention-grabbing tales about their work and the people they help?

In the latest episode of Social Good, Michael Margolis, founder of the consultancy Get Storied, and Mark Horvath—a nonprofit leader who uses a video camera, social-media tools, and his Web site,, to illustrate the trials of homeless people—discuss how charities can tell effective stories about their work.

Allison Fine, a nonprofit leader and expert on technology and communications, discusses how charities and foundations can more effectively use social-media tools to spread their messages and raise money. Ms. Fine incorporates suggestions and questions from readers into her podcasts and invites you to e-mail her at Look for new installments on the first Thursday of every month.