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Could Nonprofits Use a National Day of Listening?

Lori Halley 26 November 2009 3 comments

Communications experts, social media gurus, and PR consultants talk a lot about the importance of nonprofit organizations learning to tell their stories. And yes, compelling stories are key to winning hearts and gaining members and supporters for your organization. But what if, for one day, you just sat back and listened?

Celebrate the National Day of Listening

Will you be spending Thanksgiving with friends who tell great stories, a relative who has wonderful tales from “back in the day,” or just someone special whose life you’d like to celebrate? Why not record their story in honor of StoryCorps’ National Day of Listening the day after Thanksgiving (November 27th).
~ Britt Bravo (Have Fun Do Good)

There’s something about a National Day of Listening that grabs the imagination, isn't there?

And it’s fitting for StoryCorps to pick a day when many families, in the US at least, are already gathered together. The turkey has been digested, the conversation is starting to flag, and the sports on television may not be equally engaging for every family member… there could be no better time to revive the old art of storytelling, and capture some memories across generations.

StoryCorps makes it easy to interview people and record their stories for posterity, with free downloadable resources such as a do-it-yourself instructional guide, an online interview questions generator to kickstart your conversations, and a practical how-to video that covers the technical basics of conducting an audio interview. The free resources also include an Educational kit and a Community Service kit, to help you take those interview skills from the kitchen table out into your community.

Imagine what could happen if that one designated day of listening became a regular part of your nonprofit’s programming... What new and even more compelling stories might emerge? And what might you learn from those stories about your members’ and constituents’ needs, helping to shape your programs for the future?

Update 27 Nov 2009:
Also check out Peggy Hoffman's post, National Day of Listening & Association Story Project, which launches a year-long project at Mariner Management & Marketing to collect the stories of association volunteers in a publicly accessibly archive of inspiration. One to watch!

Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Thursday, 26 November 2009 at 4:17 AM


  • Twitter Trackbacks for Wild Apricot Blog : Could Nonprofits Use a National Day of Listening? [wildapricot.com] on Topsy.com  said:

    Thursday, 26 November 2009 at 5:01 AM
  • Trina Isakson said:

    Thursday, 26 November 2009 at 9:18 PM

    Likewise, what if bloggers held a day of commenting only. No new posts. Engage with commenters on previous posts. Or a day to take in what insight other blogs had to say on all days before, and provide ideas and feedback. A day to dig into the blogosphere knowing that you're not missing out on anything new that day.

    Or perhaps I just need a Google Reader break? Too many starred unreads....

  • uberVU - social comments said:

    Friday, 27 November 2009 at 2:54 AM

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by nptechblogs: Wild Apricot Blog: Could Nonprofits Use a National Day of Listening? http://bit.ly/4H7tjo

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