Seth Kaplan is Executive Director of A Greater Applegate and Principal of Seth Kaplan Consulting. He has used story in his resource and mission consulting to nonprofit, government, community organizations for more than 30 years, with a focus on aligning resources across systems and sectors for greater impact. He used a powerful and compelling story to hold a team of youth and government agencies together for 10 years to build a 13-acre youth complex. Seth led a four-year community visioning project in an unincorporated area and collected and shared stories from people involved in government systems to promote human-focused policies. Through A Greater Applegate, he is introducing storytelling as a community building tool. Seth is currently exploring strategies to find more time to enjoy the beauty and magic of the 20 acres of Applegate Valley he shares with his wife Lily, dog Shayna, and cat Sweet Pea.
Seth Kaplan’s Monday Session:
The Stories that Connect Us: Using Storytelling for Shared Understanding and Deeper Relationships in Rural Communities
Nonprofit staff and volunteers have always used stories to communicate impact. Storytelling can bring an organization’s mission to life in a way statistics and other data points never could. Storytelling helps build connections in a time of increasing separateness, strengthens relationships, and supports a shared understanding of an organization’s purpose, values, and impact among internal and external stakeholders.
Storytelling is particularly important in rural communities, where limited messaging resources and opportunities increase the value of authentic connections. Stories can also play an important role in breaking through the urban lens to bring a rural voice to broader policy issues impacting our communities.
In this session, designed for seasoned and developing leaders of rural community organizations, Seth Kaplan, Executive Director of A Greater Applegate, will help participants improve their ability to use storytelling to strengthen connections and understanding among colleagues and with community members, funders, and other stakeholders. Seth will teach us how to use stories to make space for voices that need to be heard, to address difficult issues, to strengthen commitment to mission and purpose, and to connect to constituents at a deeper level.