Helping nonprofit leaders do better at doing good

March 2021 Nonprofit Leadership Council: Ethical Storytelling for Nonprofits: Principles & Practices

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Workshop via Zoom

Individual Members: No Additional Fee
Organizational Members: No Additional Fee
Non-Members: $15


About this event

Storytelling opportunities can be a boon for nonprofit organizations to engage donors by explaining their impact. At the same time, attempting to tell eye-catching stories has previously led nonprofits down a slippery slope of sensationalism and stereotypes. This session offers a set of ethical principles and practices to help guide nonprofit organizations toward stronger storytelling.

Principles include (1) substance over shortcuts, (2) "nothing about us without us," (3) constructive paths forward. We will look at past examples of storytelling in the social sector (as well as its pitfalls) to consider how nonprofit organizations can center the lived experiences of communities served. Finally, we will walk through a five-step framework for assessing story and campaign ideas using an ethical lens. This session synthesizes material available in the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics' Social Sector ethical storytelling guide, which presenter Dr. Anita Varma developed and authored as part of her role as assistant director of Social Sector & Journalism Ethics at the Markkula Center.


More About Dr. Anita Varma:

Dr. Anita Varma leads the Ethical Storytelling Initiative at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, where she is the assistant director of Social Sector Ethics as well as Journalism Ethics. Her research, training, and public engagement all focus on how marginalized communities are represented in public discourse, and how these representations can improve. Her doctoral research on ethically representing diverse communities received the inaugural Penn State Davis Ethics Award in 2019, and was featured on CNN in 2020. Anita received her PhD from the Department of Communication at Stanford University in 2018, and has previously worked in online advertising at Google. She believes storytelling can help change the world. 

This event is co-hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties Chapter. AFP and CNL members may attend this event for no additional fee. If you are not yet a CNL member and are an AFP member, please register on the AFP registration site to waive your event fee.


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