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Virtual Reality: Show People Why They Should Care About Your Issues

For mission-driven organizations, one phrase seems to be at the center of every digital strategy: “we need to effectively tell our story.”

It’s the meat-and-potatoes of what you do. It’s the “why” that tells your audiences the mission behind the operations. And unlike many (if not most) for-profit or consumer-driven organizations, nonprofits usually have a really juicy and emotional story at their cores. 
 
It’s a matter of medium. There are so many ways to tell a story. We all know blogs. We know print and digital ads. We know television, film, and podcasts; but as of late, none have brought as much potential for impact than virtual reality (VR). 

What VR Can Do For Nonprofits

VR uses headsets and headphones to fully immerse viewers into a three-dimensional environment, or allow them to scroll around a scene on their phone through a 360° video. VR breaks down the once-inevitable walls between viewer and experience, and never is this more evident than in first-timer reactions. It’s enchanting, it’s enthralling, it’s emotional. And as you may have noticed, this is a perfect combination of characteristics to tell a convincing story that connects and persuades.
 
Let’s take a look at how VR can help nonprofits, and why it’s worth trying out. 

VR immersion gets your current audiences up-close-and-personal with your mission

What better way to introduce potential donors or partners to the mission driving your organization than (almost) literally putting them smack dab in the middle of the issues you’re aiming to solve? 
 
There’s a lot of power in giving your audiences a window into why you do what you do. For instance, charity: water, a nonprofit whose mission is to bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries, shows its audiences the story of a 13-year old girl named Selam. In this immersive experience, we see how she spends everyday trying to provide water for her family, all the while seeking out an education for herself. It’s really powerful.

VR allows donors and other partners experience the impact of their contributions

One thing we’ve heard time and time again is that it can be really tough to show donors how important their contributions are. Donors can feel disconnected from their contributions, which in turn might affect future giving. With VR, donors can experience first-hand the impact their contributions might have made, thus feeling more like they’ve provided value to an important cause. 
 
Let your donors experience the results of their contributions, and combat that disconnect fatigue.

VR can bring exposure to your mission

If you have a mission, you have a story to tell. And there’s really nothing better that a well-told story in VR. 
 
Lots of brands are experimenting with it — from huge multinational corporations to research organizations — and yet the marketplaces like Google Play that host these experiences have yet to flood over. This means that content is still discoverable, and people will explore and look around for new, interesting content. So aside from amending a VR experience to social sharing and other communications campaigns, using a fresh and exciting new medium like VR may help reach audiences you never knew you had. 

VR can position you as a thought leader in the field

VR is cutting edge. Sure, it will likely rapidly improve over the next few years as the technology evolves and the hardware and software companies fight it out for market share. But as it stands now, devices are cheap and accessible for many folks — a cheap, DIY Google Cardboard and a smart phone are all audiences need to view an experience — and while they might not be seamlessly immersive, they’re nothing to scoff at. 
 
There are of course a million ways to tell a story, and VR isn’t an end-all, be-all solution for reaching audiences and communicating need or impact. But given its immersive nature and its increasing saturation and reach, it’s well worth a shot. 
 
If you’re interested to know more, get in touch with us today. We’d love to explore how VR can help tell your organization’s story.
 

Interested in using VR to tell your story?

Get in touch today. We'd love to schedule a time to chat and see what VR solutions would make the most sense for your organization.