Sophomore Slump

Or, the Honeymoon is over.

Some people talk about the Honeymoon phase. Or bad second night performances. I like to call it the Sophomore Slump.

When you are facing a new challenge, new relationship, or new idea, you're engaged. You can be energized by the adventure of it all. This happens in new romantic relationships. It happens on opening nights, when you are still not quite sure you can pull it off.

During the freshman year of college, you try hard, partly because you're not sure you can do it. And then, once you succeed that first year, you back off. And you face the Sophomore Slump. Grades might slip, you might socialize more than you study.

This also happens in new nonprofits and businesses. For the first three, maybe five, years you can run an organization on passion and heart. But those are quick burning fuels. They burn hot, but not for long. And most organizations hit a point a few years in where they have to switch their thinking--they have to go from sprinting to long distance.

And often nonprofits struggle with this transition. Partly, specific types of staff and volunteers thrive in groups in that honeymoon phase. They tend to be passionate people who are good in an emergency or flying by the seat of their pants. But they might not be so great as the organization ages.

Once they hit this transition, nonprofits need different skill sets. They need people on the team who are strategic thinkers. Staff who can put down the fire hose and start thinking about how to build a more fire resistant structure. People who can stop worrying about where next month's rent is coming from and think about building an endowment to pay for future rent.

This is one of the points in a nonprofit's journey that working with Storybook Foundry can be very fruitful. Through conversations and document review, we can help organizations tease out the language they are already using and the rules they are already following. They've just never stopped to think about it. Once this information is collected and organized, nonprofits who are transitioning to becoming more sustainable have the beginning of grant applications, websites, appeals, marketing materials and more. They can hire a social media intern and quickly bring them up to speed. Organizations can contract in a grant writer or a website designer and be able to communicate with them easily, decreasing their cost.

But this process also has a benefit to the intellectual health of the organization. Taking a short pause to think about language and communication, to organization information they most likely already have, moves nonprofit staff from being reactive to being proactive. And that, after all, is what the transition out of the Sophomore Slump is all about.

Where you can find us

We have some exciting upcoming events this year! Most are open to the public, so join us when you are able.

YS Chamber Chat

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Choosing your words and your pictures. Join Ara G. Beal to learn how to examine the words and pictures you are using for your business or organization. What are you really saying? And how can you say what you want more clearly?

Thursday, July 18, 2019 from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM EDT

Bryan Center A&B
100 Dayton St
Yellow Springs, OH 45387

FREE! Registration encouraged. Click here to register.

Books, Literacy and Fundraising

Wednesday, September 25

Presented by the Springfield Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, we’ll join Jonathan Platt of Story Chain and Moses Mbeseha of The Conscious Connect to discuss the intersection of books, stories, and fundraising.

Wednesday, September 25, 11:30-1 PM EDT
Lunch provided

Location TBA

$25.00 Registration required but can be done onsite. Check back for the link to register.

Basic Graphic Design with Canva

Wednesday, October 30

More details to come, but join us the evening of October 30 at the Yellow Springs Library for this free hands on class to learn the basics of graphic design with Canva. Canva makes everyone a graphic designer!

Branding Your Grant Application

Grantstation.com

We are revisiting our awesome webinar on Thursday, November 14, 2019. We’ll update you once the link is live to register!

Ara BealComment
Choosing your words and your pictures
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Join us for a Chamber Chat with Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce to learn how to examine the words and pictures you are using for your business or organization. What are you really saying? And how can you say what you want more clearly? We’ll talk about one of our favorite topics—Word Clouds!—and critique pictures businesses are using. We’ll also think about audience, and making sure you have materials easily at hand for your different target audiences.

Thursday, July 18, 2019
9-10am

Rooms A & B (second floor)
John Bryan Center
100 Dayton St
Yellow Springs, OH

How do you tackle grant writing?

Storybook Foundry held a roundtable discussion of grant writing a few weeks ago. As those of us who write and manage grants know, there's a lot to it. As those of us who want to start writing grants know, there's a lot to it. And you hear a lot of advice. But the most fun and informative discussion was the one about how the participants all tackle the actual writing of the grant. Here's some of their answers:

  • I always answer the easy questions first. That way I feel like I've accomplished something and it motivates me.

  • I have to wait until we get close to the deadline. It's always done a few days in advance, but I can't start weeks in advance.

  • I always go through a jot down a few words or ideas I know I want to include in each answer. Then I go back and flesh out that outline. I have to get my head around the whole before I can worry about the individual parts.

  • I always start with the pieces that I need someone else to provide data for or take care of. You can't always be sure people will get back to you quickly, so I like to make sure they have plenty of time.

  • I often answer the data questions first--number of clients served, or population break down--the information I can just copy and paste.

  • I like to write where there is some activity--in my office which is by the main door of our center.

  • But I also sometimes need to go someplace else and have quiet.

  • I keep a notebook by my bed. I often get ideas about how I want to answer a question as I'm falling asleep and if I can write it down, then I can actually GET to sleep. And I don't forget.

These are just some of the things people mentioned. What about you? Do you have a favorite pen you use? Or do you have to have your browser windows open the same way every time? Maybe you need a certain cup of tea or music?

What works for you?

We're getting close!

We just did a rehearsal of our amazing webinar with GrantStation, and now we are even more excited! 
There's insightful information, two free templates, hands on activities, and a coupon for our next online workshop.

You can register a group to make the webinar super affordable! And if you can’t attend it live, you’ll get a recording and the slide deck. There’s no reason not to register!

https://grantstation.com/webinar/branding-your-application-new

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Ara Beal
Participant announcement

GRANT WRITING ROUNDTABLE PARTICIPANTS-YELLOW SPRINGS, OHIO.

Join three local nonprofits as they share how they approach grant writing. Each participant will talk briefly about their grant writing. After that introduction, Ara Beal will moderate a discussion between the participants. The morning will end with an open Q&A.

Participating organizations
Tecumseh Land Trust
Yellow Springs Senior Center
Home, Inc.

Tue, June 4, 2019
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT

Yellow Springs Senior Citizens
227 Xenia Avenue
Yellow Springs, OH 45387

Reserve your spot on Eventbrite now.

RSVP on Facebook.

HAVE A QUESTION YOU WANT ANSWERED? POST IT AS A COMMENT HERE.

One month at a time

You can now enroll in a Storybook Workshop with a monthly schedule.

For just $10/mo, you’ll receive one new template and instructions every 30 days. This plan allows you to spread out the payment and the time commitment in completing and implementing you Storybook.

You can cancel at any time, and will retain all materials you’ve downloaded. So give us a try for the cost of your Netflix subscription and see what Storybook Foundry can do for you!

Enroll here: https://storybook-foundry.teachable.com/p/storybook-foundry-monthly-subscription

Ara Beal
WEBINAR registration opens!

On Thursday, June 6, 2019, at 2 pm (Eastern) join us for a 90 minute webinar to learn about how smart branding can strengthen your grant applications.

Participants will complete a Words to Avoid template and a In Their Own Words template as part of the webinar.

You can register for the webinar today, or sign up to receive a reminder email to sign up later!

Learn more here.

Hope to see you there!

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Ara Beal
Grant Writing Roundtable Announced--Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Save the Date!

Join three local nonprofits as they share how they approach grant writing. Each participant will talk briefly about their grant writing. After that introduction, Ara Beal will moderate a discussion between the participants. The morning will end with an open Q&A.

We’ll announce participating organizations in the next few weeks.

Tue, June 4, 2019
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT

Yellow Springs Senior Citizens
227 Xenia Avenue
Yellow Springs, OH 45387

Reserve your spot on Eventbrite now.

RSVP on Facebook.

New Online Workshop Announced!

Join other nonprofit and small business professionals for a six week online workshop to create your organization’s Storybook! We’ll work to support each other through the process.

Starts March 15, 2019 with new content released each Friday, and last pieces released on April 19th.

However, you’ll have access to the material FOREVER, so if something comes up during the six weeks, no biggie! You can catch up later.

For one payment of $225 or two payments of $120, you’ll get:

1 Storybook full template valued at $107.97
10 templates in individual format valued at $199.70
Two hours of one on one consultation valued at $150

PLUS

moderation of the workshop in real time by a member of our staff
and access to our users Facebook group to further build your community and network

That’s more than $457.67 worth of tools and services for only $225!

Click here to sign up!

Click here to sign up!