Morality Plays and Soap Operas

We all love a good story, don’t we? Preferably one with lots of drama, twists and turns and a little titillation. Sounds like a soap opera, doesn’t it?

The perennial appeal of the soap opera is that we are plunged into the lives of the characters and experience their pain and their triumphs as though we were them. “Living vicariously” is the term, I believe. We may even identify with the characters to some extent, but when the show is over, we return to real life.

The morality play, on the other hand, seeks to inspire, educate and even motivate us to something bigger than ourselves. It causes us to examine our lives for a moment and how they relate to the lives of others around us.

With the soap opera we’re enticed. With the morality play, we’re engaged. People who make philanthropic investments want to be engaged. Engaged with the values and vision you share with them.

For nonprofits seeking to tell their story, remember it’s about values and beliefs, not simply a retelling of what we do. What we do, the twists and turns of our lives: that’s a soap opera. Identifying with the values and visions of your investors and encouraging them to rise higher, that’s a morality play.

Staring in your very own morality play is a unique fundraising idea. Identifying vicariously with a character in a soap opera, is all too common.

Princple 2 of The Eight Prinicples™ is Begin at the Beginning. Create your story around your values and your vision. Only those that share those will buy tickets, but who cares? They’re all you’ll ever need.