Visual Evidence to Drive Social Change

Here’s an interesting idea.

What if we could see all of the good that’s being done every day? What if there was some type of visual representation of the change that occurs on a regular basis?

Sean Stannard-Stockton of Tactical Philanthropy wrote a blog post yesterday about people’s perceptions of the world they live in. Our views are being skewed by the bad news that we’re inundated with. It comes at us from all angles and it never seems to stop.

The truth is there are so many people doing so much work for positive change.

Did you know that in the Victoria area alone there are over 1,000 non-profit organizations? You’ve likely heard of many of them. There are many more that you might not be aware of. Some of them have been around for years while some are very grassroots and struggling to keep afloat. These organizations depend on the passion of their employees and volunteers to keep their doors open.

You might not even be aware of the impact that they have on your community or your neighbourhood.

In his post, Stannard-Stockton asks, “What if every foundation created one video of this sort that powerfully communicated the most important information they knew of that was related to their mission? Imag[in]e the power of a library of hundreds of evidence-based arguments or explanations of what actually works.”

Take a look at Hans Rosling’s video below about his work studying global standards of living.

At the Victoria Foundation,we use Victoria’s Vital Signs as a tool to gauge and demonstrate  how we’re doing as a whole. Many community foundations across Canada and the States are doing the same. But how great would it be if we all took Stannard-Stockton up on his challenge?

In the meantime, take a look through Victoria’s Vital Signs 2010 to see how Victoria has improved – and some of the challenges we still face.

Perhaps foundations and organizations need to ask themselves how they can effectively communicate their successes and milestones. If you’ve got an idea or suggestion, please leave a comment below.

Leah Baade is the Youth in Philanthropy and Social Media Coordinator at the Victoria Foundation. Please contact her for more information.