March 2019 Newsletter
Success Stories That Move People

How do you move people?

Data is good. But a strong personal story is better.

Nonprofits need to tell stories that move people to action -- to give money, volunteer, pass legislation, and more. But what does a good story look like?

The ideal story conveys a person or organization achieving something extraordinary. It moves you. Pulls at your heartstrings. Makes you cry. Restores your faith in humanity.

Like the story of Giselle Burgess, a mother who started a Girl Scout troop in her homeless shelter to give the girls living there a sense of hope and a support system. Her story is no less than extraordinary --  it made it to the front page of The New York Times  and was featured in numerous other outlets, including twice by The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

That story -- and the level to which it moved people -- is rare. But nonprofits regularly have personal and organizational success stories that connect with people. And these stories can be told through the press, on social media, through videos, at galas, and in newsletters and annual reports.

The bar is higher for press: the story must be truly unique and exceptional:

The New York Times article about a formerly homeless man who spent 30 years in prison, but has now earned his Master's degree.

  Crain's New York Business piece on a child who moved here from Colombia, didn't speak a word of English, and today is the chief of neurologic surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Queens.

A PIX 11 segment about a single working mother in the Bronx who couldn't find childcare for her son who has autism, so she started a successful day care business.

Not every story can be press-worthy, but nonprofits can and should develop and distribute their own success stories through:

Annual Reports , like this Breakthrough New York piece abou t a student who  overcame trying circumstances to become the first in his family to attend college.

Video , like this Project Renewal story about a man who struggled with sobriety for 40 years.

Social Media , like this Amud Aish video about a small but moving exhibition.

Blogs , like this AMSNY piece about a young woman who dropped out of high school before going on to earn her MD/PhD.

Print or e-newsletters , like the story (below) told by John Turturro about how his brother finally received the support he needed.

How do you find these stories?

Staff, particularly those who work directly with clients, need to be on the lookout -- constantly -- for success stories. If a person's success moves them, it will likely move others.

Welcome Our New Team Member: Nate Svogun

Welcome our new team member: Nate Svogun. Nate  previously worked as a writer and web content producer for Fordham University School of Law's  marketing and communications department, writing stories for Fordham Law's online newsroom and alumni magazine.
He has interned at Fordham University Press, the oldest Catholic university press in the country, and worked as a writer and editor for several student-run publications at Providence College, his alma mater. He also has several years' experience working as a writing tutor. 

Nate holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Providence College and a Master of Arts degree in English from Fordham University, where his research interests included Milton, Shakespeare, and contemporary science fiction. A New Yorker since 2016, Nate currently lives in the Bronx. 
Our Clients are in the News!

Our nonprofit clients had some amazing coverage recently. Here's a taste!

Accounting Today

Alliance for Positive Change
Amida Care
Gay City News

Breakthrough New York
Fox 5

Community Resource Exchange
The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Flushing Town Hall

Girl Scouts of Greater New York
Oprah Magazine
The New York Times

Museum of Jewish Heritage
Good Day New York

National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene
The Forward

The Wall Street Journal

Plymouth Church