This 3-part series reflects on GlobalGiving’s experiments testing the findings of The Narrative Project. The Narrative Project was a wide-scale research effort to improve the public perceptions of global development in donor countries. Part one of our series explains GlobalGiving’s research methods and findings. Image from NarrativeProject.org.
In the summer of 2015, I was one of ten nonprofit communicators who received a grant to test the findings of The Narrative Project. The Narrative Project was a wide-scale research project driven by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, InterAction, and other major NGOs, that aimed to increase public perceptions of global development in the US, UK, France, and Germany. The Narrative Project researchers found that messages and stories carrying certain narrative themes—independence, shared values, partnership, and progress—motivated certain segments of the population to change their perceptions of global development. It also found an increase in the target group’s self-reported likelihood to take action to support global development causes. I was interested in whether or not Narrative Project themes would motivate people not only to change perceptions but also to act: to donate to global development projects.
In my work at GlobalGiving, I facilitate storytelling and fundraising training for thousands of nonprofits of all sizes, all around the world. So I wanted to find out how easy it was for nonprofits to adopt the Narrative Project recommendations, and, more importantly, to find out if nonprofits who used it would raise more money in their online fundraising appeals.