APRIL 2020 – NOVEMBER 2020

No sessions in July or August 2020.

Stories have the power to inform and inspire, excite and empower. For many non-profits, capturing the essence of the organization and its impact can be easier said than done. That’s why the Health Foundation of Western and Central New York and The John R. Oishei Foundation are thrilled to bring back StoryGrowing WNY for its third year.

What you’ll learn.

Based on the teachings of Andy Goodman of The Goodman Center, StoryGrowing WNY is a eight-month communications capacity-building program designed to help non-profits harness the power of storytelling and nurture your organization’s growth through effective communications training. Working directly with a variety of local marketing communications professionals, your team will learn to cultivate stories and effectively employ storytelling strategies to further the mission of your organization.


StoryGrowing WNY features a variety of learning techniques—including lectures, workshops, private coaching, guided development, and presentation opportunities—designed to meet the following program objectives:

Expand and enhance your storytelling ability

Assess your organization’s current brand position, communications strategy, and messaging

Determine compelling key messages for your organization

Identify and apply types of stories and their relevance to your organization’s target audiences

Apply storytelling in writing, photography, and videography

Use stories in advocacy, development, recruiting, and other primary communications

Effectively tell stories in-person, on social media, and through community outreach strategies

Join us for the
kickoff event.

Andy Goodman, Internationally Acclaimed Author, Speaker, and Storyteller

You’re invited to the StoryGrowing WNY Kickoff Workshop, featuring acclaimed author and speaker, Andy Goodman of The Goodman Center. His workshop focuses on how community leaders can bring their values and beliefs to the forefront – and how stories can help any organization move closer to its vision.

Andy is returning to Buffalo in 2020 with a new presentation, “Leading With Stories.” The StoryGrowing WNY Kickoff Workshop will cover:

  • How to convey your values, beliefs, and goals
  • Examples of leaders sharing their “story of self”
  • How individuals and organizations and can share their stories

Attending the Kickoff Workshop is required for your organization to apply for the full, eight-month communications capacity-building StoryGrowing WNY program.

StoryGrowing WNY 2020 Kickoff Workshop

Monday, March 2, 2020 | 9 a.m.– 12 noon
Location: The Lexus Club at KeyBank Center
Free and open to all WNY non-profits
Register by February 24, 2020
Free parking is available in the KeyBank Center Parking Ramp

A continental breakfast will be offered at 8:30 a.m., with the workshop from 9 a.m. – 12 noon.

We ask that you limit attendance to no more than three attendees per non-profit. This is a new program, so you’re encouraged to attend even if you joined us in 2019, but please note that seating is limited and preference will be given to non-profits who have not yet had the opportunity to complete the full StoryGrowing WNY program.


All 501(c)(3) organizations located in the eight counties of Western New York are invited to apply for the full StoryGrowing WNY program, including those who have applied previously. To be eligible, your non-profit must have senior leadership participation and commit a team for all sessions that run from April to November 2020. The application deadline is March 13, 2020.

Share your
talents. Make
an impact.

StoryGrowing WNY recruits on an ongoing basis for a range of marketing and communications professionals to serve in multiple roles throughout the program. You’ll have the chance to work with and advise non-profits who are making a positive difference in our community. And you’ll be compensated for your time and insights.

If you are interested in learning more, please email



Guide and mentor a single organization throughout the six-month program.


Join our roster of specialists who are available to consult with participating organizations on an as-needed basis.


Lead a presentation on a specific area of brand storytelling.

About the

StoryGrowing WNY is presented by the Health Foundation for Western & 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 non-profit 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 non-profits ability to share their story effectively.

Contact us.

If you have questions about StoryGrowing WNY, please email us: