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Strengthening Your Organization’s Story

Storywalkers is very pleased to partner with the Nonprofit Resource Center in 2013 to conduct a series of monthly workshops. The series, called "Strengthening Your Organiztion's Story," is composed of three topics Empowered Ambassadors, Documents that Sizzle and the Nonprofit Innovation Lab. Each workshop can be taken as a stand-alone or in combination.

Overview for the Series:

Non-profit organizations are built upon the commitment and investment of many individuals. The Strengthening Your Organization’s Story series is designed for non-profit leaders who wish utilize the tools of story to engage and mobilize partners, team members volunteers and donors. Each module will help staff teams better identify and convey the story of what you do, why you do it and how others can help your organization succeed. These workshops are highly practical – staff and board teams will bring back tools and strategies that can be utilized immediately across your organization.

 

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Empowered Ambassadors

 

Each of us knows when we hear a story told well, or when we witness others being moved by a powerful story. All too often, organizations find themselves limited in their ability to share their story. Common obstacles include:

  • Only one or two individuals (including the Executive Director) feel confident and capable of sharing the organization’s work.
  • The same stories are repeated again and again, while newer or more complex elements of the work are not presented.
  • Staff, board and volunteers hesitate because they fear telling the wrong story, believe it is not their role, or they lack the tools and details for a proper telling.

This workshop will introduce the use of images and metaphors in storytelling, while integrating the voices of the scientist, the marketing executive and the artist to identify key elements of an organization's story for presentation to a diverse or targeted audience.

Empowered Ambassadors will take place from 9-12 on Tuesday, January 29th. Click here to register.

 

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Stories that Sizzle

 

In the arena of non-profit storytelling, we convey our messages across a variety of formats – brochures, grant proposals, presentations, flyers, website language, grant reports and annual reports – to a diverse mix of audiences. Your written materials provide a point of entry for funders, clients, partner agencies and community members. Whatever the message, successful storytellers know their audience and recognize potential opportunities for their agency. When your message conveys meaning – when your story sizzles – your audience wants more of what you have to offer.

 

In this workshop, we will:

  • Utilize the Three Organizational Voices matrix to maximize targeted use of data, anecdotes and images.
  • Identify your audiences, as well as the types of information and delivery strategies that will be most effective.
  • Assess strengths and gaps in current and recent documents.
  • Explore the internal edge in our work that separates familiar territory from promising, innovative and uncertain new possibilities.

This workshop is intended to be immediately applicable to current and upcoming projects. Participants are strongly encouraged to bring a range of documents – including recently completed, old stand bys or current works in progress – for review and consideration.

 

Documents that Sizzle will take place from 9-12 on Tuesday, February 26th. Click here to register.

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Non-Profit Innovation Lab

 

Story is our most versatile organizational building block. It allows us to transform vision, need or opportunity into actions, strategies and objectives. When we approach a non-profit organization as an unfolding story, we gain access to the most dynamic elements of the institution.

Within your organization, what areas of unmet need, burgeoning opportunity or emerging innovation are waiting to unfold? This workshop is an opportunity to step beyond daily operations to give shape to fresh ideas and next steps.

We will:

  • Engage in shared visioning
  • Shop our ideas with one another
  • Add details and definition
  • Identify relevant resources
  • Outline immediate next steps and concrete timelines

This workshop is equally applicable for organizations updating existing programming and agencies exploring brand new ideas, strategies or solutions. Relevant projects might include:

  • Newly conceived or fledgling non-profits
  • Impending community initiatives or collaborative projects
  • Development of compelling outreach, marketing and engagement strategies
  • Emerging concepts for fund raisers or special events
  • Overcoming a persistent programmatic obstacle

Nonprofit Innovation Lab will take place from 9-12 on Tuesday, March 26th. Click here to register.