APRIL 2020 – NOVEMBER 2020

As the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York and The John R. Oishei Foundation monitor the quickly-changing response to COVID-19, we realize that community-based organizations throughout our region are rapidly deploying services to meet the needs of the community. In fact, many of you are on the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak assisting our most vulnerable.

As we grapple with the challenges this crisis presents in our nonprofit community, we’d like to take a brief pause on StoryGrowingWNY 2020 and evaluate how we can best serve you. We do not yet know if this will be a simple postponement or a restructuring of the program overall.

Thank you for all you are doing during these difficult circumstances to keep your good work moving forward and stay tuned for more information!

What you’ll learn.

Based on the teachings of Andy Goodman of The Goodman Center, StoryGrowing WNY is a communications capacity-building program designed to help nonprofits 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


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 nonprofit must have senior leadership participation and commit a team for all sessions that run from April to November 2020. Special consideration will be given to those organizations who work to improve the health and well-being of people in our region. 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 nonprofits 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 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.

Contact us.

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