Showing posts from January, 2017

Storytelling for Advancement

For those not in the know, Advancement was formerly Development, and Development was formerly Fundraising. And so fundamentally, when we talk about storytelling in advancement, we're talking about activities that help support fundraising. But names are important, and these name changes are meaningful in terms of what fundraising has come to mean over time. In the long term, fundraising means creating strong relationships and networks of relationships between people with different kinds of resources (time, money, information). These relationships are based on shared values, and the way we know that we share values is to tell each other stories. In order to tell stories, you have to find stories. Over several years, I've come up with several kinds of stakeholders who may serve as sources of stories that advancement professionals and professionals in nonprofits more generally can try to find in, around, or about their organization. And to hear a great story, you have to as

Ira Glass on Storytelling

These links are here as viewing shortcuts for my storytelling courses, but let me say that if you are interested in telling stories well, then this 4-part 17-minute-total set of videos featuring Ira Glass of This American Life is well worth your time.

Finding Stories to Tell

For the tenth year, nearly rounding out a decade, I am preparing to teach a graduate seminar in Storytelling. This course requires many kinds of skills, from public speaking to understanding audiences and much more, but the first skill that every student must acquire is the ability to find stories to tell. Specifically, for their first stories, each student must acquire the ability to find folktales. You could head to the local public library and browse the 398.2 section, or you could start online With the task of finding folktales at hand, my students find that there are fewer excellent online resources for finding folktales than you might think. Those linked here offer good starting points because they have reasonable information documenting origins either as source notes or as annotations or because they situate tales in relation to each other. Aaron Shepherd's Folktales D. L. Ashliman's Online Folktale Finder  http://www.pi