Statistics are an important part of sharing information and helping people understand facts. But sometimes, large numbers are difficult for people to really understand. What does three million really look like? What about thirty thousand? Here's a bold and creative addition to your awareness campaign: make people SEE your stats.
Find a Stat
Pick a statistic that relates to your cause and has the potential to really affect people. For example, if you care about preventing teen pregnancy, let people know it costs $222,360 on average to raise a child from birth to age 17. If you're concerned about safe driving, 708,000 people are injured a year in alcohol-related car crashes. The idea is to help people really feel the impact of how big some of these numbers are.
Pick a proxy
- Chances are you can't get $222,360 or 708,000 injured people to show up at your school at once. But what can you find or collect thousands of? Paper clips? Pennies? Paper cranes?
- Choose to collect something that directly relates to your cause. If you're trying to raise awareness of how many people are homeless in your city, see if you can collect that many cans of food.
- This is where your awareness campaign takes off! You want people to be asking you, "Hey, what's 705,000?", so make a poster or t-shirts for your cause.
- Put collection areas for your little something (paper clip, paper crane) all over your community with big, bold signs. Try your school, community center, post office or local stores.
Once you've reached your goal, display what you've collected. Make it really public - put it in an approved area of the school commons or the entrance to the public library. of these numbers really are.
Do some math
See if there are other ways you can illustrate your point. Once you've collected 222,360 somethings that represent dollars, see how many books you can buy for that amount of money. If you know how many people are homeless in America every night, see how many countries in the world have higher total populations. Do what you can to give people different ways to think about these numbers.
Keep it up
Once everyone can see how big these numbers are, promote that too. Make it part of your awareness campaign
Check out a success story
Check out this documentary
about a group of students who set out to see what SIX MILLION (!) looks like by collecting six million paper clips.