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The Power of Nonprofit Storytelling

Posted By Bobby Rettew, Monday, January 30, 2017

A few years ago, I was working with a large health care system in the early stages of developing a content strategy. The initial meetings with the organization outlined the need to find content creators inside the organization, specifically to help the marketing/communications team find rich stories to share. I visited one of their hospitals in Georgia during the on-boarding process with the goal to find storytellers inside a clinical setting.

As I walked through the halls, I met some amazing people. From physicians, nurses, patients, and staff; all had powerful stories to tell. But the one person that stood out the most was this one person in a patient room. As I walked in to visit with the patient, I heard a larger conversation taking place. The lady cleaning the room was having a wonderful conversation with the patient. She was a talker; sharing, laughing, listening, and engaging with the patient. 

I walked out of the patient room, looked at the division president and said she needs to be on the list as content creators. He looked at me like I was speaking three languages at one time. His follow-up response was the hospital needed to focus solely on physician content creators. I somewhat agreed with his assessment, but said that it does not take a medical degree to tell rich stories from inside the organization, it takes passion, commitment, and execution. 

It starts with learning to listen. No hear, but listen. There are people across the organization that are powerful storytellers, content creators, graphic designers, writers, people who have a passion to share. Nonprofits experience the need to leverage internal human capital because the financial resources sometimes do not support a robust marketing/communications staff. 

Even if you have a grasp on capturing great content from within the organization, sometimes it is even harder to operationalize how to share content within the framework of the nonprofits growth goals. Specifically, what do we do with all this great stuff and how do we measure success?

During my webinar on Feb. 8, we are going to discuss the following:

  • Culture of Listening
  • Culture of Sharing
  • Culture of Integration
  • Culture of Measurement

We are going to think through how nonprofits can find the storytellers, capture their stories in bite size chunks, create a robust content calendar, and how to leverage digital platforms within an integrated media mindset. I will share examples of what we have learned over the past ten years, with a few case studies laying the foundation for strategic goal setting. 

About the Author:

Bobby Rettew is a multiple Emmy award-winning multimedia producer known for his creative talents, interpersonal communication skills, and new media experience. His background includes corporate marketing communications, PR, social media, new media, television news and expertise in producing compelling visual stories on all digital platforms.

Bobby works with hospitals, higher education institutions, healthcare advocacy groups and small businesses to identify compelling messages and communicate these messages at the right place and the right time.

Bobby is an Adjunct Instructor at the Arthur M. Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership at Clemson University where he teaches Hybrid Entrepreneurship. He also serves as an Adjunct Instructor in the Advanced Writing Program at Clemson.

Bobby has been trained by the Poynter Institute in Storytelling and Visual Communication and by the National Press Photographers Association in Visual Storytelling. He has also been awarded the International Best of Show for Online Communication by the Society of Technical Communication.


Tags:  Giving Day  Nonprofit Storytelling 

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A Look Back at 2015

Posted By Madeleine McGee, Monday, January 25, 2016
Updated: Monday, January 25, 2016

2015 - what a year for our country, our state, even for SCANPO. Before we head into February and the mad rush of SC's Nonprofit Summit activity, let's indulge in a quick look back.

Most importantly, so many of SC's nonprofit leaders were front and center as...

  • The Confederate Flag Came Down - In July, we watched with the our nation as the Confederate Flag was removed from the SC statehouse grounds after thousands, myself included, advocated for this historical change following the tragic Mother Emanuel shooting.
  • Communities Provided Flood Recovery Support - In October, after witnessing historic flooding in South Carolina, nonprofits everywhere sprang into action to support rebuilding recovery efforts for individuals and businesses.

Here at SCANPO, 2015 saw:

  1. New Staff and Expanded Services - In January 2015, Debbie Nelson, founder of DNA Communications, joined our team to lead our Knowledge Network programming, and Sharon Thomas, former nonprofit executive and recipient of the FMU Award for Nonprofit Leadership came on board expanding our member benefits by offering board engagement services.
  2. Hundreds Furthering Their Exemplary Leadership Skills - With a sold-out house at Wild Dunes Resort, we welcomed more than 500 nonprofit leaders to celebrate our nonprofit community and cultivate leadership skills during our 2015 Nonprofit Summit.
  3. Recognition of Habitat for Humanity of Greenville - During the Summit, we lauded Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County for their exemplary governance and management and excellence in implementing SCANPO’s Guiding Principles & Best Practices.
  4. Charity Raffles Made Legal - In April, charitable raffles finally became legal after years of hard work by nonprofits from across the state.
  5. Celebration of the Sector - Our Giving Day training helped more than 400 nonprofits prepare for Giving Day 2015 hosted by community foundations around the state. The Day resulted in national record giving levels and community-wide celebrations of all things nonprofit.
  6. Moving Nonprofit Gathering Following Mother Emanuel Shooting - In June, just days after the horrific shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston, our membership reception became a venue for healing, fellowship and unity.
  7. New Board Leadership - July was the beginning of a new fiscal year and Ted Hendry from United Way of Greenville County took the helm of our association's board of directors providing important board leadership.
  8. Increased Fellowship Among Colleagues - With photo booths, jazz bands, and great support from our business partners, local hosts and membership committee members, SCANPO hosted 10 gatherings around the state attended by nearly 1,000 nonprofit leaders. 
  9. New and Improved Communication Tools - With the help of our partner, Trio Solutions Inc. (TRIO), SCANPO launched our weekly enewsletter, Nonprofit News; improved our social media efforts; and completely redesigned our website to integrate better with our association member software.
  10. Career Connection Usage Grow - SCANPO's job site exceeded 100 job posts for the first time in July, resulting in $121,000 total savings for the 813 members who posted jobs in 2015.

A huge thanks to all who took time to help build our state's nonprofit community through your work with SCANPO in 2015. Together, we make South Carolina a remarkable state, doing incredible work. 

Now on to 2016. See you in Spartanburg for the Nonprofit Summit in just a few short weeks!

Together. For Good. 



Madeleine McGee
SCANPO, President
Join me on LinkedIn


Tags:  Charitable Raffles  Debbie Nelson  Giving Day  Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County  Madeleine McGee  Mother Emanuel AME Church  Nonprofit Summit  Sharon Thomas  Ted Hendry  Trio Solutions Inc.  United Way of Greenville County 

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