Does Your Board Tell Compelling Stories About Your Mission?

The other day, BoardSource senior governance consultant, Susan Decker, led a webinar entitled “Mission Movers: Crafting and Communicating Your Message.” In it, she pointed out specific roles that board members of nonprofit organizations are expected to carry on for communicating their mission.

According to Decker, the first step in understanding these roles is to ask these key questions:

  • Does our organization have a clear strategic vision that supports our mission?
  • Do I understand my role in communications?
  • Do we have the necessary expertise to support and deliver solid messaging?
  • Are there opportunities in my relationships that could benefit the goals of the organization?

Decker then explains the importance of board members sharing compelling stories about the mission:

  • Briefly communicate shared values, needs, and interests
  • Put a face and a voice to your work
  • Include hard data where appropriate
  • People remember how we make them feel more than anything else

The point is: Storytelling plays a major role in advocating for your mission. It is meeting your audience where they currently are and using your narrative to take them on a journey to where you want them to be. Story is where, together, we get in touch with our humanity. It is where we truly connect.

Download the full slide deck for Mission Movers.

appeal-letter

Does Your Fundraising Letter Tell a Compelling Story?

Nonprofit organizations constantly juggle a variety of tools to fundraise. One tool that many nonprofits have been using for generations is the appeal letter. Whether it’s sent via post or email, how can we transform this into a more powerful medium that, once in the hands of donors, will move them to give?

Our workshop will focus on writing your next appeal letter to include a compelling story about how your program impacts the lives of people you serve. We will cover story selection, building a vocabulary that is potent with meaning and intention, and overall presentation.

View and share this video clip from our last appeal letter workshop.

Thursday, August 22
5:30–8:00pm
Open Books
213 W. Institute Place, 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60610

5:30pm – 6:00pm  Introductions
6:00pm – 7:30pm  Workshop
7:30pm – 8:00pm  Networking

Coffee and tasty nibbles will be served.

REGISTER EARLY and get a great value.

 Stay cool and safe this summer!

The Language of Story

“People are drawn to your relationship with your message.”
— Dr. Sandy Goldberg
   Founder & Chairman, A Silver Lining Foundation

Stories are about people.

It’s never about just the facts. The people you’re talking to have already judged the situation even before you uttered your first word. And no amount of proven data will change their minds about you and your intentions.

But if you tell a story about your journey that led to that particular moment when you have this important message to deliver, something else starts to happen in how your audience sees your message. You’ve just created a unique context that they cannot help but relate to. Because the journey you’ve described is the same path they’ve taken. You’ve just built a bridge. They’ve just felt a connection.

It’s never just about the words. They may comprehend what they hear, but do they understand the truth in what you’re saying? Are they giving you the look that asks, “What does it all mean?”

Does your audience see themselves in the characters of your story? Is there something familiar about the situation that can draw them into the plot? What conflict or challenge are you presenting that they can potentially solve? Are your words creating a vivid enough experience to spark an emotional response?

So, what does it all mean?

It’s never just about the mission. It also has to be about the people who care enough to make it theirs.

appeal-letter

Does Your Fundraising Letter Tell a Compelling Story?

Thursday, August 22
5:30–8:00pm
Open Books
213 W. Institute Place, 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60610

Nonprofit organizations constantly juggle a variety of tools to fundraise. One tool that many nonprofits have been using for generations is the appeal letter. How can we transform this into a more powerful medium that, once in the hands of donors, will move them to give?

Our workshop will focus on writing your next appeal letter to include a compelling story about how your program impacts the lives of people you serve. We will cover story selection, building a vocabulary that is potent with meaning and intention, and overall presentation.

View and share this video clip from our last appeal letter workshop.

5:30pm – 6:00pm   Introductions
6:00pm – 7:30pm   Workshop
7:30pm – 8:00pm   Networking

Coffee and tasty nibbles will be served

REGISTER EARLY and get a great value.

Hope you’re enjoying the summer!

Women. Empowering. Moving.

10×10 is a global movement with the core mission to educate girls in developing countries, especially those that have traditionally made it difficult for young girls and young women to go to school. 10×10 and their network of nonprofits, celebrities, policy leaders, corporations and concerned citizens work together so that every girl has the opportunity to reach her full potential.

girlrisingThere is overwhelming evidence that educating girls dramatically improves the well-being of their families, communities and countries – multiplying the impact on society. 10×10 uses the power of storytelling in their groundbreaking film Girl Rising that features nine extraordinary girls from nine countries – their lives, their struggles, their hopes, their dreams. The film is narrated by renowned actors including Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Salma Hayek, Freida Pinto and Alicia Keys.

Their message is simple: Educate Girls and You Will Change the World.

2013Arthritis-STD_FINAL-

On the local front, the Arthritis Foundation is honoring two women for their commitment to the mission of the Foundation: raising awareness and reducing the unacceptable impact of arthritis through education, research, advocacy. Joan Rubschlager and Jody Cofoid will receive the 2013 Freedom of Movement Award at the 24th Annual Arthritis Foundation Black Tie Gala on Saturday, September 21st at the Chicago Broadcast Museum.

Joan Rubschlager has served on the Arthritis Foundation Board of Directors since 1998.  Joan, and husband Paul, support the Arthritis and Orthopedic Institute Leadership Committee at Rush University Medical Center. She is being honored for her dedication to the Arthritis Foundation Research Program.

Jody Cofoid has also served on the Arthritis Foundation Board of Directors since 1998. Jody has been instrumental in training Arthritis Foundation Programs for Better Living instructors and growing the number of Arthritis Foundation exercise sites throughout the Chicagoland area. She is being honored for her dedication to juvenile arthritis and physical activity programs which enhance the lives of people with arthritis.

New for 2013, a Freedom of Movement Humanitarian Award will be presented to Alpha Omicron Pi (AOII). Supporting arthritis research and education has been the philanthropic mission of Alpha Omicron Pi since 1967. Since then, AOII has donated over one million dollars to arthritis research.

This year’s event will have a star-studded celebrity vibe, inspired by Oscar Night. Guests will be treated like celebrity VIP’s. The evening will include cocktails, dinner, and dancing. For more information or to purchase a table for your very own star-studded evening, please contact Paula Sankarsingh, Executive Director of the Arthritis Foundation, at psankarsingh@arthritis.org or (312) 880-4733.