Communicate with Influential Visualizations

Research shows that using data to visualize your organization’s mission can create connections, garner support and inspire action. Data visualizations are a powerful communications tool that can help tell your story.

Organizations are increasingly turning to data visualizations to communicate their messages. Charity: Water effectively uses data visualization to inspire action, generate monetary support for projects, and expand the reach of their programs.

In their promotional video, “Water Changes Everything,” data visualization tells Charity:Water’s story and why its mission is important and relevant now.

The organization has also created an interactive visualization for their mycharity: water project. This visualization tool allows donors to track how their donations have impacted communities across the globe.

Here are 6 tips to help your organization communicate its story using data visualizations:

  1. Know your audience. This may seem obvious, but it’s important to think about whom you are you trying to reach. What are their needs? How will you connect this audience to your mission through data visualization?
  2. Decide what you want your visualization to say about your organization. What is the purpose? How will your visualization connect to your organization’s mission? Why does the data matter? What reaction are you looking for?
  3. Choose your data. Let the numbers speak for themselves, but also reveal a truth behind the situation or a change that is happening. Are you presenting a problem? A solution? Both? Your data should help you tell your organization’s story.
  4. Design your visualization to appeal to the emotions and intellect of your audience to make it more compelling and inspire action.
  5.  Put your data into context. Look outside your own data set to find other data that makes your story more accessible to your audience. What is the bigger picture?
  6. Select the vehicle to get your story out there. Include your visualization on your website, in your communications pieces such as newsletters, and on social media sites such as Pinterest, Facebook, Flickr, or YouTube.

How is your organization using data visualizations to garner support for your mission and tell your story?

 

Shannon McGarry
Project Specialist
Campaign Consultation, Inc.

 

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Shannon McGarry

Shannon McGarry is Project Specialist at Campaign Consultation, Inc. and an advocate for systemic, holistic approaches to building the capacity of nonprofits and community organizations. She has worked with nonprofits to strengthen and diversify their funding streams, expand and mobilize their membership base, and build sustainable programs. Read more.

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