One of the best parts about this Summer Fellowship experience has been the learning sessions at The Columbus Foundation. Every other week, the fellows take time out of their busy work schedules to come together to learn more about the nonprofit sector and reflect as a cohort about what they have been doing. This most recent session was particularly inspiring as panel of five young professionals from the Columbus nonprofit community spoke to us about their organizations and the challenges of the nonprofit world.
The key advice that I gleaned from the panel was the importance of storytelling for a nonprofit organization. Nonprofits can be doing amazing things, but if they don’t know how to tell their story they are losing major opportunities to get new donors and share their mission with the community. Storytelling is essential for development, marketing, volunteer management, employee engagement, and much more. You need to be able to convince people that you are not just a charity, but your support, time, and money is an investment in the betterment of the community.
In addition to the learning session this week, the fellows were also treated to a Clippers game Tuesday night. I’m pretty confident in saying that I know next to nothing about baseball, but it was still a fun night with my fellow fellows (and Dan and Melissa) full of conversations about experiences, hopes, dreams, and ice cream. It’s strange to think that all the fellows were strangers less than a month ago and that through this program we have been connected through our united passion of achieving good in the world. I’m dying to insert some sort of baseball pun about nonprofits here, but I will refrain for the reader’s sake.