Storytelling is a powerful Tool for nonprofits

The value of a nonprofit is not determined by a simple profit/loss metric. It takes a tool such as storytelling to share the mission in a way that expresses the importance and empathy inherent in the mission. 

Organizations that engrain a culture of storytelling into everything they do will see stronger fundraising, decreased turnover, and an overall increased effectiveness. 

  • Development professionals can use storytelling to showcase the important work of the organization for fundraising proposals.

  • Program managers can use storytelling to better communicate with the populations they work with.

  • Marketing and outreach professionals can use storytelling to express the importance of the work they do to the wider public.

  • Nonprofit boards and executives can use storytelling to share the vision for what the organization seeks to accomplish.

Read below to learn more about the specific storytelling workshops and consulting services I offer to nonprofits.


Bring Storytelling to Your Team

Greater Good Storytelling has a series of workshops and facilitations that help nonprofits professionals realize the value of storytelling, understand the elements of powerful storytelling, and use storytelling effectively in their professional lives.

Below are descriptions of the most popular storytelling workshops for nonprofits. All workshops can be combined and/or customized to suit your specific organizational needs.

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Storytelling for Nonprofit Communication

Important stories happen everyday at a nonprofit. By learning how to understand, capture, and share these stories, nonprofits will have a wealth of important material to share for development, marketing, team building, empathy generating communication, and more. This workshop walks participants through a step-by-step process of seeing, understanding, and sharing the stories that exemplify the important work the nonprofit does.

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Storytelling for Nonprofit Development

Storytelling is at the core of all human communication. This workshop will help your development team better understand how to identify and craft the stories that best communicate the value of your organization, emotionally resonate with your potential donors, and inspire them to take action.

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Understand Your Donor Base with Storytelling

Your donors have a story and by learning how to tap into it you’ll be able to better understand how to craft and deliver emotionally resonate appeals. This workshop walks participants through a process that takes them into their donors’ minds, imagining their hopes and fears, and developing a set of validatable ideas about what inspires them to give.

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Creating a “Culture of Storytelling” in Your Organization

What does it mean to create a “culture of storytelling” in your organization and what are the benefits? This workshop will introduce some basic ideas for how to build storytelling into the culture of an organization for better communication, stronger group cohesion, and more consistent reaffirmation of the organization’s mission and values.  

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Storytelling for Board Communication

An engaged board that actively works to communicate the mission of the organization is the envy of every nonprofit. This workshop creates a stimulating and memorable environment from which to tap into the emotions that inspired board members to get involved, share their stories with each other, and learn to better communicate the stories of the nonprofit out into the world. This is a great facilitation for your next board retreat!

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Sharing a Leadership Vision with Storytelling

Being a leader means having a vision. One of the most powerful methods for communicating a vision is storytelling. This workshop will provide a basic framework for how nonprofit leaders can harness storytelling to communicate their vision--both inside and outside of their organization--on how a problem can be solved or a community can be improved through the nonprofit’s mission. This is a great workshop for leadership retreats!

Contact us to Learn more about bringing storytelling to your team.


Make storytelling a top-down priority for your nonprofit

Greater Good Storytelling also offers a number of different consulting services for nonprofits. These are best when used in conjunction with one of the workshops described above, but can also work as a stand-alone.

Contact us with any questions regarding any of these programs.

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Executive Coaching

Storytelling communicates passion, a vision, and makes for stronger leaders. This coaching can help executives and upper management get more comfortable sharing their own stories to communicate outwardly and within the organization.

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Create a Culture of Storytelling

This ongoing training will help to lay out a plan and implement a culture of storytelling in your organization.

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Message Review/Analysis

Enhance all your messaging by giving it a storytelling edge. This service can help you directly pinpoint where you’re missing opportunities to communicate stories, how to find those stories in your organization, and how to most effectively share them outwardly.

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Promote Like a Storyteller

We’ll help you design and implement a multi-platform plan to source stories from within your organization and share them outwardly. This can include advisement on social media strategies, email marketing, public relations, print, and other marketing collateral.

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Data to Storytelling

Data is important but it doesn’t create the same emotional resonance as storytelling. This consultation service can help you look at your data and understand how it can be converted from dry numbers to engaging stories.

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Ongoing Training

Ongoing training is available as a follow up to all workshops. What would help you the most?

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If you’d like to know more about our consulting services, or anything described above, contact us today!

In a world saturated with painful Powerpoints and meetings ad nauseam, this storytelling workshop is the ideal antidote on how to best capture hearts, minds, clients and markets.
— Holly Smithson, CEO, Athena
Nathan was an excellent facilitator who was considerate or our organization’s needs in preparing for the board retreat. He delivered on the expectations of the retreat, while at the same time maintaining flexibility to ensure the tone of the meeting was positive. He made real time adjustments to be inclusive of all of the group dynamics. All in our group were blown away with how much work we got done in a short amount of time. Nathan had the right touch, we could not have accomplished our goals without his facilitation.
— Tana Lorah, Board Member, Berry Good Food Foundation
Nathan has an engaging “learning-by-doing” approach to teaching storytelling; which is so artfully executed you find yourself learning without even realizing it.
— Commissioner Alisha Wilkins, California Commission on the Status of Women & Girls
Wow! The Storytelling for Nonprofits workshop pushed me and my team to really dig deep. Nathan provided structure and direction without stifling individual creativity. We left left the workshop with stories we can immediately share with our donors and knowledge on how to take any future impact story to the next level to inspire support.
— Sheilagh Carlisle, KPBS
This workshop was chock full of ‘aha’ moments for me to use in my pursuit of funding for our nonprofit organization.
— Joanie Ewing, San Diego Alzheimer's Association
Nathan is very knowledgeable about story-telling, public speaking, and how these factor into successful fundraising solicitations. For me, the most important part of the workshop was learning tips to develop a story’s context, conflict, action, and resolution. I plan to use these techniques to enhance the stories I include in grant proposals and grant reports. The conversations Nathan sparked among workshop participants were really helpful, too.
— Carlos Medina, Father Joe's Villages
I thoroughly enjoyed Nathan’s storytelling facilitation at our board retreat. He made us think about how we tell “our own story” as it relates to the theatre and had us express our thoughts out loud to our fellow board members. We were entirely engaged in this seminar.
— Robert Granat, Diversionary Theater Board of Trustees Member
Nathan’s approach is open minded, and accepting of each person’s aptitude and curiosity. He’s a natural teacher, discuss leader, and facilitator.
— Renee Tourville Werthmann, UCSD Development Communications
Nathan was creative, enthusiastic and inviting throughout the presentation which provided a welcome environment for our group to share their personal stories.
— Albie Masland, Travis Manion Foundation
Nathan is fantastic! He was very easy to coordinate with as we were preparing for the Storytelling for Science workshop, and he tailored the event to be practical, hands-on, and relevant to our field. He was an engaging speaker with insightful strategies, and the workshop was a big success!
— Brittany Lee, SDSU School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences
Nathan makes storytelling accessible and practical. I was able to start telling my story right away after his workshop.
— Dawn Ressel, Next Leap Consulting
Nathan’s storytelling workshop was one of the most useful communication events I’ve ever attended. It has helped me tremendously in learning how to frame my research as a story for effective communication.
— Jeremiah J Minich, PhD student, Scripps Institute of Oceanography
What I loved about Nathan’s workshop was learning to personalize my message—to talk about myself and my research in a way that engages the audience in what I am sharing with them.
— Mauricio Caraballo Rodriguez, Postdoctoral Researcher at University of California, San Diego - Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Nathan takes the age-old art of storytelling and explains how it can be applied across a range of complex disciplines, using stories to engage the audience, keep them hooked, and help them better comprehend a new topic. His real-life examples and audience engagement demonstrated how stories were much more effective than a bunch of facts and figures strung together. This workshop was well-worth the time and can be applied to all aspects of life.
— Jill McGrady, Senior Ecologist, Great Ecology
The storytelling workshop with Nathan was awesome! I was finally able to gain a deeper understanding of the different elements of storytelling. Also, I loved that we listened to some stories and had hands-on experience during the workshop, which allowed me to spot the different elements and how they play off each other to create a story that is appealing, cohesive and flows naturally. Nathan is extremely gifted, easy to follow and a great instructor. I really enjoyed this and would take it again.
— Afrodita Deretic, founder at Freelance Fusion
Nathan is very skilled at making people feel comfortable. He has the ability to bring a group of people together who may have never met before, and enable them to discuss personal experiences and ideas in a supportive environment. This environment makes it possible to start putting words down on paper, with the option of sharing with the group.
— Emily Burke, Director of Curriculum, Biotech Primer
I thoroughly enjoyed Nathan’s storytelling workshop. It was an opportunity for me to grow and connect to my fellow board members.
— Jodie Graber, Diversionary Theater Board of Trustees Member
Nathan is a gifted facilitator and communicator, and draws enthusiasm and confidence out of his audiences. He helps each participant know that their story is important, and worth telling!
— Colin Richards, Environmental Rights Advocate
Nathan has a very natural style of making you feel at ease whether he is instructing, facilitating or brainstorming new ideas. He is very accommodating to each participant’s questions and concerns. His experience in public speaking, writing and social media really adds to his vast repertoire of tools used. All in all, Nathan is a very pleasant fellow to be around. It’s been interesting seeing the various projects over the years that he has developed and/or improved.
— TC Chesser, President, Armor Tek Services
Nathan’s workshop was great! I love reading and journaling but have never written for a public audience until very recently. There was a wide variety of experience in the workshop but Nathan did a great job of making everyone feel at ease and included by initiating collaborative group discussions and with creative questions. I picked up a few very helpful points in learning how to write and definitely built my confidence. I recommend his storytelling workshops to anyone interested in storytelling but not quite sure how to begin.
— Shawna McGrath, Yoga Teacher
The workshop was a powerful reminder about the value of storytelling. It showed me that MY story has value and empowered me to SHARE while connecting with others as they shared too.
— Leah Bethany Gage, Movement Therapist and PeaceBuilder
Nathan’s storytelling workshop was both fun and intensive. Time flew by while digging deep with his straight-to-the-heart-of-it writing prompts. I feel that I’m walking away with a better understanding of where to look for, and how to develop, the stories that matter.
— Jennifer B.
Nathan Young is very open and excited about writing. This is so important because his manner allowed me to open up and become excited about writing. During his workshop, I wrote about personal material from my past that I really wanted to write about but had been avoiding for a long time.
— Jason Freeman, Life Coach
The Storytelling for Art and Expression workshop was very informative and provided many useful tips for writing a great story. It was very helpful to learn that there is a reliable and tested method you can use to make readers connect with your story. Nathan is great at giving feedback and guidance. I highly recommend this workshop to all the storytellers out there!
— Marta Manus
As new to public speaking, I found this workshop to be just what I needed, filling in the blanks of structure and story arc. Thank you for the useful hints!
— Randi Kolender-Hock
I’ve attended several workshops led by Nathan, and they’ve always been good. He manages to keep things on track and on time while still maintaining a very relaxed environment. He keeps the class size small so it’s easier to ask questions and interact. This includes interaction with other students so we get multiple viewpoints.
— Dave Barak, Malfunction Films
Nathan created an environment where writers of different backgrounds could exchange ideas and encouragement. This really helped me to make progress on my project.
— Neil McDevitt
Ideas came to my head that I would never have thought of otherwise. I loved Nathan’s presentation, style, and ability to engage with all of us individually and together. The workshop gave me hope, tools, and lots of encouragement. Thank you!
— Audra Sission
Nathan is an instructor who gets to the meat of the matter quickly, efficiently, and even painlessly. He is kind and supportive. His teaching is straight-forward and accessible.
— Valerie Sussman
Nathan served as a gentle guide, allowing us to find our way through the writing prompts. He was positive and supportive as we shared ideas with the group.
— Lana Davis
Nathan had a very calming style to deliver his material and made each person that shared feel very comfortable - he’s very encouraging.
— Cathy Dunn
The writing workshops facilitated by Nathan are thoughtfully conceived and presented, with time to dig deep and excavate the gold that is within us all. Highly recommend.
— Julia Holladay