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Be a Story Sherpa

Help nonprofits tell their stories

Many people with backgrounds in nonprofits or areas of business like sales, marketing, and finance can be very helpful to a nonprofit who wants to be able to tell a great story. Most nonprofits know that they can better engage volunteers, community stakeholders, and donor is they are able to tell a compelling story about the impact of their work. 

You will interview the organization to find evaluation data, client statistics, anecdotes and other information that you can get turn into a story of community impact. The goal will be to write something using about 100 words. These stories can be illustrated with photos and put on websites or in program materials or can be used in grant applications or meetings with elected officials. Contact Stephanie Heffner at to be a Story Sherpa.

Three types of impact

Communications expert Amy Southerland talks about three ways to describe the impact an organization is having.

1. How does the organization's work result in cost savings to society – This works well if an organization is preventing a problem like accident prevention or addressing a problem at a time when the costs are lower such as providing primary care to avoid emergency care costs.

2.How does the organization multiply the impact of others' efforts by getting parents engaged in their kids school work or by using volunteers to get more people signed up for government programs.

3. How does the organization strengthen our community by getting young people engaged in voting or by developing local parks, neighborhood block watch programs or community gardens.