Don’t Drink The Water….

West Virginia National Guard

Do not drink use the water! (via West Virginia National Guard)

Three stories in the news this week, all significant: the decline of teen pregnancies in the US, the West Virginia Elk River chemical spill, and India’s three year polio-free milestone. All three underline something I consider crucial to fundraising – people have to be able to relate to a story, really viscerally instinctively relate without explanation, to be moved to action.

First the pregnancies. Apparently they are down in the US, noticeably so. And because of an … MTV show? Yep.Critics and parts of the viewing public “derided” the show. But they were not the target demographic – teens and young people saw past the TMI warts-and-allness of a reality show to see themselves in the parents documented on the show. They could see themselves instantly in the unprepared people becoming parents much too soon and watching their futures change irrevocably, sometimes for the worse. But for the grace of God, and the will to make informed choices, that was them on screen—being derided by a merciless public. Makes perfect sense that they watched and said, “That will NOT be me.”

Second, the Elk River spill. A much bigger story in a far shorter period of time and not happening under the radar. And yet, we didn’t hear about it for several days. [Read more…]