Great Storytelling Inspires Change

On the morning of April 14, 2016, the Calgary Foundation gathered 250 passionate people at the University of Calgary’s Downtown Campus for a shared learning event called “Great Storytelling Inspires Change.” Charities of all causes attended, ranging from those who build bikes, to those who fight cancer, to those who console, offer homes, and those who encourage citizens to live on for one more day.

Andy Goodman: A Hollywood TV writer takes on the nonprofit world

Throughout his career, Andy Goodman was already well-practiced at storytelling, but time and time again, he was perplexed by the stories told by nonprofits and knew he could help them embrace the power of stories. In 1998, The Goodman Centre was launched with a mission: “to help good causes reach more people with more impact.” Andy Goodman, as a nonprofit storytelling expert, was sought-out to share his insights and wisdom as to why it is crucial that charities become compelling storytellers. The audience found his storytelling knowledge enlightening, insightful and practical, learning that narrative is always more powerful than data and figures.

Videos that complement Andy’s presentation:
  • Surfer’s Healing: A nonprofit based out of San Juan Capistrano, California, that takes kids with autism surfing. “We paddle out together on tandem boards to catch the waves that come our way. That's what we do; that's what we love.”
  • Anti-Defamation League: Nonprofit that empowers people to fight prejudice worldwide. This video is an example of a “where we are going” and/or vision story.

Dave Kelly: So, you want to be on TV

Dave Kelly, revered co-host of Citytv Calgary’s Breakfast Television hosted the latter half of the morning. Dave Kelly warmly invited audience members to the stage for an impromptu interview where he revealed the benefits of preparation, practice and relaxation. All three charities on the stage demonstrated how preparation and practice can pique interest and strengthen your story. One example of advice was when the Centre for Suicide Prevention came on stage to tell their story. Dave explained that when dealing with delicate subject matters, you can’t be afraid to cut straight to your most important message, the Centre’s message being: “If you are worried about the well-being of a loved one, ask them directly, are you thinking of suicide?”
With his warmth and media savvy, Dave Kelly put minds at ease about prepping for media interviews and evaluating which elements of a story should be told. The morning concluded with the promotion of Dave Kelly Live – a new form of an unstructured, live show that allows Dave to connect with guests and pull out interesting stories. The next Dave Kelly Live (DKL) shows will be Wednesday April 27 and Wednesday June 15, 2016, where fathers and possibly David Kelly’s dad will be on stage. For more information on DKL visit

The event hashtag #CKCStorytelling trended on Twitter that day in Calgary. 

Twitter highlights: