12/04/2014 04:39 pm ET Updated Feb 03, 2015

New Digital Storytelling Platform Helps Tell Stories for Social Good

Storytelling is a hot topic in business, philanthropy and the nonprofit world. Effective leaders of social movements and social enterprises know that narrative is the most powerful form of communication, because stories have been used to teach and lead people since humans first developed the capacity for language.

"Strategic storytelling" is a newer notion: In order to help leaders achieve their goals, stories must be strategically designed to motivate and mobilize people. And the content of strategic stories must be compelling, in order to capture people's attention and imagination.

Enter Hatch, a new strategic storytelling platform that helps social enterprises, nonprofits and other social impact organizations use the power of narrative and networks to increase their reach, resources and impact.

Hatch is a free, online resource built with the support and leadership of the Rockefeller Foundation. The site houses a suite of tools that guides users through the key steps of designing a storytelling strategy, creating stories with compelling content, and engaging people through a wide variety of digital platforms. Tools also help organizations assess their storytelling capacity and evaluate the impact of their storytelling efforts.

For example, the Strategy toolkit guides users through the key questions of a storytelling strategy: What's your goal? Who can help you achieve the goal? What ideas will motivate them to take action?

The Content toolkit walks users through the steps of crafting a compelling story, based on a classic model of storytelling used widely by Hollywood filmmakers.

Guides to the most powerful social networks for storytelling help users make the most of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Medium, Pinterest and others.

Case studies from effective storytelling organizations and commentaries from thought leaders offer ideas and inspiration.

You'll find topics such as:
Your CEO as Master Storyteller
The 40/60 Content Rule: Less Time Writing, More Time Sharing
What Makes a Story Great

Case studies from high-impact organization such as UNICEF, The Gates Foundation, charity:water, and Greenpeace.

Tips like Nonprofit Photography Ethics, Recruiting Volunteers on LinkedIn, and Using Tumblr to Collect and Share Stories.

And we'll release more information and inspiration every week.

Anyone with a social mission in mind is invited to check out Hatch, try out the interactive toolkits and send us feedback on your experience. We'd love to hear your ideas for improving the site, and invite you to share your favorite stories and storytelling resources with the Hatch community.

The team at my firm, Hattaway Communications, working with our partners at Timshel and Threespot, created this resource after extensive study and discussions about the state of digital storytelling for social impact. The tools and resources reflect the thinking of thought leaders in entertainment, news media, marketing, technology, philanthropy, government, nonprofits and business.

You can read their insights and ideas in our report, Digital Storytelling for Social Impact.