Our partners at Georgetown University's Center for Social Impact Communication developed three training modules to help small nonprofits develop, collect, and share their stories more effectively. Learn more about each workshop below—the corresponding presentations and worksheets are also available for download.
What exactly do we mean by “story?” This session will explore the fundamental building blocks of a compelling story, regardless of how that story is ultimately shared (text, photo, video, etc.). Participants will learn how to begin with a strong story strategy in place, how to develop an ear for what makes a particular story stand out, and how to assemble the building blocks (like characters, dialogue and details) to create more engaging and actionable stories. We’ll also explore more advanced topics including how to diversify your stories so that you avoid “story fatigue,” and how to seamlessly and effectively use data and other context to balance the individual-driven story approach.
Collecting and Producing Better Stories
What does it truly take to sustain a successful storytelling culture? This session will provide participants with tools and systems for collecting and producing stories in a more intentional, organized way. We’ll explore the core capabilities that staff members, volunteers and/or consultants need to possess in order to deliver the kinds of strategic, compelling stories we identified in the first training session. We’ll break down the pros and cons of producing stories in-house vs. relying on paid or un-paid outside experts, as well as examine low-cost options for both collecting and producing stories (both written and multimedia). Participants will leave with strategies and tips for aligning both staff and technology for more successful storytelling efforts.
Sharing Stories and Measuring Their Success
How can you best make use of free and low-cost online tools to share your story—and how do you know if they’re working? This session will cover the essentials of sharing your stories on social media and how to tailor stories for the different platforms that are available today. We’ll explore simple ways to measure the effectiveness of a story, and why effectiveness should be defined as more than just dollars raised. Participants will also learn how to extend and supplement their already successful verbal storytelling (for example at events) with simple digital tools and strategies.