Many foundations today are introspecting in new ways about their success metrics. One trend is the movement of attention from the activity to the impact of their fundees. Many continue to focus primarily or exclusively on numbers, which validly reflect several key indicator categories. Some are intrigued with the reality that not everything that matters can be measured, in numbers, and can be more accurately and powerfully reflected in narratives.
Here are just some of the reasons why foundations need to focus on the power of story as they reimagine how they assess and message their significance and legacies.
- Stories well-told can quickly and compellingly demonstrate complex trends and dynamics because they can integrate and synthesize what can get lost in spreadsheets and slide decks
- Fundees who learn how to tell their most important signal stories better make better sense of their performance and impact data because stories are the most powerful sense-making media
- Funders who cultivate rich success story portfolios easily attract more donors and raise the bar for new fundees and grant seekers
- When stories are well-constructed, they have more power than data to energize people with a deeper sense of connection, trust and trustworthiness
When we teach workshops on the power of story, people are always amazed at how stories can inspire, educate and connect people as no other media can. That's the magic of narrative.