Skip to Content
5 Min Read

Hatch: Harnessing the Power of Narrative and Networks


  • A storytelling strategy answers key questions: What’s the goal? Who can help achieve the goal? What ideas will motivate them to take action?
  • Storytelling is powerful communication—that is, if the content is compelling enough to capture people’s attention and imagination.
  • Hatch is a new platform for digital storytelling designed to help social impact organizations use the power of narrative and networks to increase their reach and resources.

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: 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 by Hattaway Communications, working with our partners at Timshel and Threespot, and supported by 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?

Storytelling is powerful communication—but the content must be compelling to capture people’s interest and imagination. Hatch’s Content toolkit walks users through the steps of crafting a compelling story, based on a classic model of storytelling used widely by Hollywood filmmakers.

[pullquote1 align=”center” textColor=”#000000″]“Stories contribute to creating impact when they are strategically designed to motivate and mobilize people to support a cause.”[/pullquote1]

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

Hatch is building a community of storytellers. The site is chock full of case studies from effective storytelling organizations and commentaries from thought leaders, offering ideas, inspiration, and information.

You’ll find topics such as:

Case studies from high-impact organization such as UNICEFThe Gates Foundationcharity:water, and Greenpeace.

Tips like Nonprofit Photography EthicsRecruiting 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.

We built 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.

Jay Geneske directs the Rockefeller Foundation’s digital strategy and pioneers new ways to hear and share innovative ideas and perspectives on serving the needs of poor or vulnerable people in a time of rapid change. Follow him on Twitter at @jgeneske.

Doug Hattaway, president of Hattaway Communications, has served as a spokesperson to high-profile leaders such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, and successful candidates for the U.S. House, Senate and Governor. Follow him on Twitter at @DougHattaway.

Join The Network

Community, learning, and leadership to help you do good, better.

Become a member