STORYTELLING SKILL BUILDING FOR NONPROFITS

January – May 2024

In the nonprofit world, story is everything. The story of your organization can create understanding and empathy and attract volunteers. The stories of the people and the causes that you serve rally support and, ideally, donors. A good story, well told, can be a catalyst for profound change.

A joint effort of the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York and The John R. Oishei Foundation, StoryGrowing WNY is a comprehensive five-month program that helps nonprofit organizations develop skills to ethically craft and tell their story in a way that will inspire and motivate others to rally behind them.

The full 2024 StoryGrowing WNY program starts in January 2024 with monthly in-person and virtual sessions through May.

Applying for StoryGrowing WNY 2024.

If accepted into the 2024 StoryGrowing WNY cohort, you will develop and hone the skills necessary to cultivate your organization’s story, and effectively employ storytelling strategies to advance your mission.

The program consists of five monthly in-person training sessions, and one virtual workshop via Zoom, between January and May 2024. Sessions are led by local marketing/ communications leaders, and will explore concepts such as brand positioning, public relations, digital media, and more. The midpoint of the 2024 season will feature an interactive workshop featuring Kirsten Farell, Director of The Goodman Center. Kirsten’s workshop will help you apply the skills you have learned through the program so far, and prepare you for the training that lies ahead.

Through StoryGrowing WNY, you will learn to cultivate stories and effectively employ storytelling strategies to further your organization’s mission.

Program Objectives

Assessing internal and external communications

Identifying brand positioning and key messaging

Using stories in advocacy, development, recruiting, community outreach, and more

Understanding best practices in writing, photography, video, and social media

Developing a plan for crisis and reputation management

Learn in-person storytelling skills

Who can Apply?

All nonprofit organizations (501c3) in the eight counties of Western New York (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming) are invited to apply to StoryGrowing WNY 2022. Foundations and consultants will not be considered.

As part of the program requirements, your organization will be required to identify 2-4 participants who can commit to attending the in-person workshop sessions. You can view all program requirements within the StoryGrowing WNY application.

The Health Foundation for Western and Central New York and The John R. Oishei Foundation celebrate and prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of their work. People who are BIPOC, LGBTQ+, or from other under-represented communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

To learn more about the participation and application requirements, please refer to the downloadable StoryGrowing application.

How to Apply

Applications are due by 5 p.m. on November 3, 2023. A representative of your team may be asked to participate in a phone interview as a part of the application process. Organizations will be notified of acceptance no later than November 30, 2023.

On behalf of the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York and The John R. Oishei Foundation, we look forward to reviewing your application. If you have questions, please email info@storygrowingwny.org.

A collaborative effort.

StoryGrowing WNY is presented by the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York and The John R. Oishei Foundation.

The Health Foundation for Western and Central New York and The John R. Oishei Foundation are committed to assisting our local nonprofit ecosystem build communications expertise and capacity that can help them raise their profile, increase fundraising, and engage their community. StoryGrowing is a comprehensive, collaborative program designed to enhance and expand nonprofits’ ability to share their story effectively.