Storytelling for Impact

Inspiring a shared vision for social change
  • By Stacey Gallaway & Susanne Salerno
  • Published on June 30, 2022

Gallaway Consulting Group recently gathered with SIF alumni to explore the following questions as a springboard for crafting dynamic leadership and organizational narratives.

  • What are you passionate about (something intensely meaningful and core to your identity)?
  • What stories highlight your passion in action?
  • How does this passion and conviction translate to the mission of your organization and your leadership for social change?

Our “Storytelling for Impact” workshop is centered around the belief that each of us holds communications strengths that can breathe life and authenticity into every stakeholder touchpoint and inspire sustained action for a more just and equitable world. Below, we offer a few key concepts from the workshop, along with some practical questions to unpack with your colleagues to help augment your organization’s culture of storytelling across mediums and audiences.

Center Your Core Values 

Storytelling is both a relational practice and time-honored tool for sharing values, building and energizing relationships and community, and mobilizing champions for social impact. The process of developing a story invokes and unifies your values, which can then be expressed in a motivational way to others. 

What story have you told recently that exemplifies why your organization is committed to social impact work?  What personal and organizational values does this story uplift for you?

Identify Storytelling Opportunities 

There are unlimited opportunities to infuse leadership and organizational stories into both formal and informal settings and in verbal and written formats. These opportunities include: board meetings, community forums, networking and social events, grant applications, staff meetings and hiring processes, social media channels, funder and investor meetings, and more.

How are you currently sharing stories across the organization in different spaces and channels? What are your storytelling strengths and areas for growth? 

Unleash Your Passion

We believe in letting passion drive your personal and organizational storytelling voice and style. Research has demonstrated that entrepreneurial passion - that intense feeling you get when something is deeply meaningful to you - has the ability to mobilize your own commitment to a goal, reduce public speaking nerves, and activate a shared emotional experience between you and your audiences. When an audience can feel your passion, they are better able to gauge your confidence in and commitment to realizing social change, and are motivated to join your vision. 

Have you given yourself permission to authentically and enthusiastically share your passion?  What does/would that look, sound, and feel like?

Develop and Refine Stories in Relationship with Others 

As workshop participants shared personal and organizational narratives and made new connections across the group, we were reminded that stories are meant to be developed in relationship with others: you share your story, create bridges across human experiences, and refine and elevate the parts of your story that motivate others to act. Storytelling IS community-building. The Social Innovation Forum and its network of alumni, innovators, and practitioners provides a welcoming space for connectivity and community as you continue to craft the stories that will help move the needle on today’s most critical social issues.  

Who will you reach out to today within the SIF network to continue crafting and refining your leadership and organizational storytelling bank? 

Learn More 

To learn more about Storytelling for Impact, or to set up a training at your organization visit Gallaway Consulting Group’s website, download our workshop overview, or contact us at  

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