Multi-Funder Storytelling Initiative Names Newest Participants

Organizations will receive free training, coaching

(Syracuse, NY) After a successful pilot in 2016, three local funders have identified the seven organizations that will participate in StoryGrowing 2.0. Supported through a partnership between the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York, the Central New York Community Foundation, and the Gifford Foundation, StoryGrowing helps non-profits strengthen their storytelling culture and skills through intensive workshops, group training and one-on-one coaching.

Starting in September 2017, the seven organizations will attend more than 20 hours of workshops and trainings, work with a wide variety of skilled coaches, develop a community of practice and receive one-on-one guidance from area specialists. Each group’s team of staff and board members will explore branding and purpose, the types of stories to tell and how to build a storytelling culture. They will also receive specific technical assistance in live presentation, use of videos and photography and placement of stories in social media. The program will culminate with a community celebration in late April 2018.

The following organizations are participating:

  • ARISE Child and Family Service
  • Cooperative Federal
  • Margaret L. Williams Developmental Evaluation Center
  • Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency
  • Society for New Music
  • Syracuse Model Neighborhood Corp.
  • Syracuse Northeast Community Center

Camille Coakley, board member of Syracuse Model Neighborhood Corp, telling a story at the during StoryGrowing launch

“Stories have the power to inform and inspire, excite and empower. But for most non-profits, capturing the essence of the organization and its impact is easier said than done. That is why we are so excited to work with our partners at the Gifford Foundation and the Central New York Community Foundation to bring StoryGrowing back for a second year and help a diverse group of organizations harness the power of storytelling to achieve their goals,” said Kate McLaughlin, communications director at the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York.

In 2016, 11 organizations participated in the pilot of StoryGrowing. An evaluation showed significant advancement of storytelling culture at the organizations, who continue to meet and find success with using stories to advance their mission.

At a recent information session, Carrie Large from ACR Health, one of the participants in the pilot, spoke about her experience and presented one of the stories from last year’s StoryGrowing program. “I am still scared each time I do this,” she admitted. “But the power has been proven. When we’ve included stories in our events, the donor response is notably stronger.”

For more information about the StoryGrowing program, contact Heidi Holtz at the Gifford Foundation at 315-474-2489 x12.