Eight Nonprofits Selected for StoryGrowing WNY 2024


Sponsored by the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York and The John R. Oishei Foundation to bolster nonprofit communications skills with a storytelling focus

Eight local nonprofit organizations have been selected from a field of 42 applicants to participate in StoryGrowing WNY 2024, a program funded by the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York and The John R. Oishei Foundation.

The collaborative program is designed to enhance the ability of nonprofit organizations to share their story and to nurture their organization’s growth through effective communications, with the goal of strengthening their mission and service to the community.

The selected teams include:

Buffalo History Museum
Community Missions of Niagara Frontier
Erie County Restorative Justice Coalition
Erie Niagara Area Health Education Center
Grassroots Gardens WNY
Say Yes Buffalo
Stitch Buffalo
The Service Collaborative of WNY

The free program offers teaching, coaching, and mentoring and will help organizations build their internal capacity in using stories for advocacy, development, and community outreach. Teams will also develop skills in branding, in-person storytelling, and using tools such as video, digital media, and public relations to tell their stories.

The program kicked off with a free webinar for all local nonprofits hosted by Kirsten Farrell of The Goodman Center, an internationally recognized nonprofit communications firm. Organizations were then encouraged to apply for the in-person and in-depth StoryGrowing program that will run from January through May and include workshops taught by local marketing, communications, public relations, and digital media experts.

Each team is assigned a team advisor to guide them through the program. Teams can take advantage of additional coaching hours from the workshop instructors to further their knowledge as they integrate the teachings into their organization’s marketing and communications efforts.

Because the workshop presenters, team advisors, and coaches are local professionals, participants also will expand their network of local experts in the marketing and communications fields in addition to the training they receive.

Program applicants were evaluated based on their communications needs, their capacity to successfully complete the program, and their willingness to integrate storytelling into their overall culture.

StoryGrowing WNY was modeled on a similar program held by the Health Foundation in central New York in 2016 and then brought to western New York in 2017-2018 as a partnership between the Health Foundation and the Oishei Foundation. Two additional WNY cohorts have taken place since then.

To learn more, visit www.storygrowingwny.org.