The University of Iowa

How to Create Safe Nonprofit Stories that Inspire Action: A Workshop on Trauma-Informed Storytelling
Event Category 


This two-hour workshop is for all nonprofit storytellers, whether fundraisers, marketers, communicators, grant writers, researchers, or content creators. Nonprofit storytelling possesses an incredible power to touch hearts and minds. As we tackle the world's biggest problems, we are responsible for gathering and telling these stories in a way that protects, dignifies, and respects those served. The workshop will explore trauma-informed storytelling, a safe and healthy process for your beneficiaries, audiences, and even storytellers. You'll gain actionable insights and tools to tell trauma-informed and ethical stories that have a huge impact.

Participants will create story-gathering principles, guidelines, and workflows for your organization and a trauma-informed and ethical language guide specific to your organization.

You will learn:

  • Why trauma-informed storytelling matters.
  • How to use a simple but powerful storytelling framework that compels action.
  • How to create stories that inspire awe and hope instead of pain and despair. 
  • Learn from trauma-informed and ethical marketing case studies.

Participants will be responsible for approaching this topic with kindness, grace, and empathy; completing in-class assignments; and participating in discussions. It is important to attend all sessions in order to walk away with the intended outcome.


Maria Bryan is a nonprofit messaging strategist and trainer who helps nonprofit leaders tell powerful and impactful stories that do no harm. Over the past 15 years in the nonprofit and public sector, she has trained thousands globally, in person and virtually, focusing on trauma-informed storytelling and purpose-driven marketing. Maria has a master’s degree in public administration, a bachelor’s degree in journalism, and is professionally certified in trauma and resilience. She is a firm believer that storytellers make the world a healthier, safer, cleaner, and happier place.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023 - 12:00pm
6305 Naples Blvd.
Naples, FL 34109
Sponsoring Organization