Storytelling and Introspection


A couple weeks ago many of you joined us in a conversation on storytelling with Andrew Hoffman and Ryan Schnurr; hosted by Amber Recker.

With the questions asked, comments made, and experiences shared, we were reminded of the introspective opportunity storytelling and marketing affords many nonprofit organizations.

Yes, these are tools designed to potentially attract or retain funders, but they also provide us the space to truly consider the simplest version of what our organizations can and should be.

With this in mind we wanted to remind you to check out the materials from Andrew and Ryan’s presentation located at the slide share link above. You can also download a copy of Andrew and Ryan’s STORYTELLING ONE SHEET.

We also invite you to check out NeighborLink’s Vimeo account which features a variety of videos demonstrating the effectiveness of duration, subject specificity, programming, and consistency.

And lastly, we wanted to share a video commissioned by the Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center in which Donald Gage shares his experience with our Get on Board programming and his continued efforts to take down barriers to encourage social mobility. Production credit goes to Andrew Hoffman and Ryan Schnurr:


How has the marketing process helped clarify and sharpen your organization’s outcomes?


Telling Your Story

with Andrew Hoffman and Ryan Schnurr; hosted by Amber Recker

Many thanks to Andrew, Ryan and Amber for sharing their storytelling experience with an eager audience today.

Thanks to those of you who took time out of your work days to ask meaningful questions.

Andrew and Ryan wish to share their slide deck and the videos they highlighted today.

*7.21.14 Post update*: Andrew and Ryan’s STORYTELLING ONE SHEET



Focus and Compassion

If you have yet to discover Daniel Goleman (Emotional Intelligence) and his newest title, Focus: the Hidden Driver of Excellence perhaps this two minute video of Goleman speaking for the Greater Good Science Center will serve as a meaningful introduction.

If you already follow his work, check out the video for some useful research on compassion and focus.

Curious about how Focus can impact your work? Check out the book or audiobook today.

Consider signing up for our Day of Restoration on March 21 as an introduction to mindfulness meditation with experienced practitioner and teacher, Richard Johnson, PhD.

Want to know more about Focus? 

“The author of the international bestseller Emotional Intelligence returns with a groundbreaking look at today’s scarcest resource and the secret to high performance and fulfillment: attention. For more than two decades, psychologist and journalist Daniel Goleman has been scouting the leading edge of the human sciences for what’s new, surprising, and important.

In Focus, he delves into the science of attention in all its varieties, presenting a long-overdue discussion of this little-noticed and underrated mental asset that matters enormously for how we navigate life. Attention works much like a muscle: use it poorly and it can wither; work it well and it grows. In an era of unstoppable distractions, Goleman persuasively argues that now more than ever we must learn to sharpen focus if we are to contend with, let alone thrive in, a complex world. Continue reading

The Lutheran Foundation has Undergone a ReNEWal

“We’re excited to share our revitalized vision for healing our community”
-Lutheran Foundation

Through a Christian approach, the Lutheran Foundation advocates for the Northeast Indiana Community through initiatives that address unhealthy lifestyles, lack of access to care, and struggle with mental and behavioral health issues.

Please browse the foundation’s new website to learn more about the Lutheran Foundation’s values and focus areas, and find out if your mission fits with the revitalized vision.

Below is a video to help you better understand the renewed direction of the Lutheran Foundation.

Newest Nonprofit PSA Created by Access Fort Wayne

Have you been watching all of the nonprofit Public Service Announcement videos produced by Access Fort Wayne (AFW)?

Check out the newest – a short video about Chief Richardville House:

Ready to make your own nonprofit work the star of the show? Create your own PSA for free.

The Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center has teamed up with Access Fort Wayne to help Northeast Indiana nonprofits create short, quality videos that you can share online, embed in electronic newsletters, and more.

Follow these links to learn more.

  • How to make a PSA – notes on the process.
  • Our sample PSA scriptThanks to Megan Hubartt for writing and editing!
  • Watch local nonprofit PSAs – including other videos, not created this project, shared to inspire your creativity. 
  • Review these posts on effective nonprofit video storytelling (I) and resources for doing that (II)

Once you’ve read through the PSA notes, the sample script and viewed the videos AFW has made, contact us with any questions or to get started: 260-421-1238 |

Winning Nonprofit Video

Why is it that we’re moved by some nonprofit videos and not so much by others?

We ask ourselves this here at the Center as we continue to partner with Access Fort Wayne to offer you – local nonprofits – the chance to make free PSA’s about your work.

Today I was pleased and quite moved to see someone else take a shot at understanding this question. We’ve seen some great Nonprofit Storytelling Resources in the past, but today’s post on the Getting Attention blog moved me for simple reasons.

Check out the videos here (from Children’s Mentoring Connection in Findlay, Ohio) and consider how the stories about these four – two grownup and two young – folks who share time together in simple ways impact you.

Dennis & Anthony

She’s Actually My Present

What do you think? No, actually, what do you feel when you see these? Would an agency snapshot with statistics and logos do the same thing? How could it?

There is a sweetness, a kind honesty in these short, clean, and somehow utterly revealing videos that cuts through any data or infographic I can imagine. We see nothing particularly flashy here. The video work is good, certainly, and the editing has shown an attention to detail that suggests a certain knowledge:

It’s our shared humanity that compels us to act for the other – that lets us see how mentorship has connects these people to each other.

Is data important to donors? Perhaps it has it’s place, but does it trump the power of the story of the individuals who participate in our programs with success?

Not so, says, Guest blogger, Julie Brown, Program Director at the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation in the post, “Successful Nonprofit Storytelling – Stay Humble:”

“Nonprofit directors—if you want to use a video to gain more funds or volunteers for the people you serve; let the story of one person inspire us to help you fulfill your mission.  Just get out of the way and stay humble!”

I hope you click through to the blog post to see the data on growth in giving and volunteering that led Julie to make this conclusion about successful nonprofit videos.

As you consider how you will tell your agency story in 2014, how will you get out the way and let the individuals you serve give voice to their joy?

UnderDeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising

If you’ve worked for nonprofits for long enough, especially in development, it’s likely that the results of this recent Compass Point and Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund project survey will not surprise you. Development, or fundraising offices, have a revolving door and a cycle that perpetuates this problem.

I’ve been told that in bad economies, in poorer budget years, development staff is the first to go. I’ve seen it. And it hurts. It hurts the people who love the work of connecting our communities to our missions and it makes it so much more difficult for organizations to keep programs open.

And so, I cringe to see nonprofits backed into making such a devastating decision because I’ve been taught that organizations must invest in fundraising to truly build the conditions necessary to address the needs we’re addressing. I cringe because the vicious cycle only continues as we under-invest in fundraising – and we have so many ways of under-investing.

The report details the nature of this cycle and even offers some clues as to what nonprofits can do to break out them. Read the full report at this link to the PDF: UnderDeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising

Recently we were witness to part of this cycle as local nonprofits posted a slew of development jobs – perhaps on the other side of a market recovery. It was exciting to post these opportunities to area job seekers – and to have such hope for the organizations seeking change. Here’s to local nonprofits investing in their missions by valuing fundraising and fundraisers for their work – and it’s direct impact on our missions.

And all this talk about investing in fundraising reminds us of Dan Palotta’s TED talk from earlier this year:

Certainly was stirring then, and is stirring enough still to warrant adding this commentary, from Shannon Ellis over at the Compass Points of View blog, “Dan Pallotta’s TedTalk is Dead Right AND Leaves Out an Important Part of the Argument.