If you’re a social changemaker in the 21st century, character-rich media is a must. Savvy leaders of organizations, networks, think tanks, and even faith-based groups are turning to creatives (and funders) to help them put human faces on their issues, data, and programs. Think about what An Inconvenient Truth did for the climate change movement; how Blackfish blew the whistle on behalf of captive sea mammals; how even a short animated film about child labor is starting to protect kids from India’s carpet industry.

Active Voice Lab, and previously Active Voice and POV, has worked with hundreds of organizations as they’ve experimented with using these narratives to build awareness, empathy, and even financial support for their important work. There’s no how-to handbook for this because every story, just like every campaign or project, is unique. In fact, the deeper and more nuanced the stories are, the more thoughtful the planning must be. We guarantee that planning is worth it, and we’d like to share some ideas to help you make informed decisions and track your progress along the way

Need some tips about how to communicate meaningfully and effectively with creatives as you integrate their powerful content into your work? Check out The Prenups.

Want to articulate how you hope a story will contribute to your specific objectives, and some tips on how to optimize the connection? Horticulture is for you.

Read more about the smart ways that creatives, strategists, funders, and organizations worked together on impact-oriented film campaigns run by our predecessor–Active Voice–to advance criminal and juvenile justice, immigrant integration, community development, and more.

Determined to sync up your passion for media with your organization’s strategic plan, including evidence and outcomes? Learn from our evaluation advisors.

Lead image from NOT WITHOUT US ©2016 Kontent Films