What’s Your Story? How to Leave a Lasting Impression on Your Program Officer


Presented by: Kelly O’Connor Kay

2017 Annual Conference
San Diego, California
November 2017

Product Description

In 2014, I attended a meeting with a family foundation that was an existing supporter of my organization.  After hearing what we should be doing with our fundraising strategy and plan for growth, I left the meeting feeling insulted.  One year later, I attended another meeting with the same foundation.  This time, I shared a personal story about why I  work with the organization and why I believe their work is so important.  At the end of my story, everyone in the room was in tears.  Furthermore, the funder said that he will always remember me  and my story and he committed to being a lifelong supporter of the cause.

The overall goal of What’s Your Story? How to Leave a Lasting Impression on Your Program Officer is to build the capacity of grant writers to share their stories with program officers at a foundation from which they are seeking funding. Stories can include: how and why you came to work at your organization; how and why you became a grant writer; why your organization was founded; why your organization’s work is needed; how your organization has improved the life of a beneficiary; and many more!  At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify the various types of stories they can tell;
  2. Identify the key components of a compelling story;
  3. Practice telling their own stories and that of their organizations.

During the workshop, the presenter will provide best practices on storytelling, share (on video) stories of other nonprofit grant writers and their organizations and lead participants through an interactive exercise in which they will begin crafting their own personal and organizational stories.  Content will be drawn from the work of storytelling experts Marshall Ganz, Tom Ahern and Andy Goodman.

GPCI Competencies Addressed:
Knowledge of Methods and Strategies that cultivate and maintain relationships between fund-seeking and recipient organizations and funders.

Kelly O’Connor Kay is an accomplished nonprofit development and communications professional, having worked in the industry for the past fifteen years. Her consultancy helps local, regional and national organizations increase their impact by raising valuable funds from individuals, foundations, corporations and government agencies. Clients include Alliance for Lupus Research, Maternal Mental Health NOW, Youth Justice Coalition and LA Kitchen.

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