By Katy Snyder, JVA Consulting
Spellbinders volunteer with rapt audience
Spellbinders is one of our favorite kinds of nonprofits—the kind that brings together two diverse groups for the benefit of both. In Spellbinders’ case, those two groups are elementary school (and sometimes older) kids and older adult volunteers (generally ages 60+, but not always) with a gift for storytelling. Once volunteers have received training on how to most effectively deliver their stories to engage young minds, they meet with the same class of students on a monthly basis to tell classic folktales, fables and sometimes stories of their own creation. This arrangement yields results for all involved: children boost their reading, comprehension and vocabulary skills as they listen and learn, elder volunteers are given a forum to share their accumulated wisdom, and adults and kids alike become more engaged in their communities and with each other.
We wanted to know what Spellbinders could teach us (and our nonprofit readers) about how to best convey our stories, be it stories about clients, stories about our work or stories about our mission—so we went right to the source—interviewing Catherine Johnson, Spellbinders’ executive director, and Ray Mohr, a longtime Spellbinders’ volunteer. Read on to hear what they had to say about how best to convey your nonprofit’s story: Continue reading