Awesummit2014:Telling Our Story

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Attendees: Dave (london), Nikki (Seattle), Lee-Sean (NYC), Andrew (Liverpool), Jared (Palm Beach), John (Sarnia), Tung (New Orleans), Christina (NYC), Yasmin (Atlanta)

  • John: Interested in keeping track of history and stories from a trustee perspective and a grantee perspective. Worried that we're losing track of history.
  • Jared: This could be a successful mainstream book. Could be good lead generation.
  • Nikki: We should be compiling some "best of"s - useful for giving talks and also for modeling best projects for new/struggling projects.
  • Lee-Sean: There's a lot of oral stories that get passed down--how do we capture those?
  • Yasmin: A timeline

What's the goal of improving our storytelling?

  • Dave: cultural shift in how people think about changing the world
  • Nikki: Improving the quality of applications and trustees
  • Tung: Common assets for each chapter to pull from
  • Lee-Sean: General public profile to get sponsorships, speaking engagements, raise awareness in general.
  • Jared: Break down the messaging for different groups.
  • Yasmin: Has there been an overall strategy to push Awesome Foundation out there?

* Christina: The original intent behind the open-ended nature of our messaging is to not scare people away by providing too many examples of what to do or not to do.

Balancing inspiration vs. scaring people away

  • Tung: the different chapters exist in different capacities.
  • Dave: how do we tell the full spectrum of the stories, not just the best of?

* Tung: Website was a barrier for New Orleans; when we went and interviewed people, we got lots of great ideas.

  • Lee-Sean: Do you fund ideas or projects? Projects that we like and just need an extra bump, or actual things that are happening?
  • Awesome ambassador idea - what to expect. A couple of chapters have Awesome Hours, but it's a lot of work.

* Tung: Probably 40% of applications have been coached or advised by a trustee. * Nikki: We work hard on messaging what we prefer to fund, on the website. But most applicants just go straight to the application. * Tung: could you force people to go through the chapter page--adding a little bit of friction? * chapter page is not a great place to talk about values.

Book of Awesome

  • What are the main narratives?
  • Yasmin: The story of awesome is still evolving. What will help is getting us out there. I think we need a 2-minute elevator pitch.

* Dave: I always tell it through stories.

  • How do we decide what stories to tell?
  • Three main parts: philosophy; history; projects.

* Projects: we may just need someone to pick these. The tyranny of photogenic projects. * Philosophy: the hard part.

  • What are the top points we want to tell?
  • What's happening with all the chapters? We need a common something to keep building culture.

* What's really special with this community is that there's a clear central premise-10 people, $1000-but every chapter gets to define what it means for them to be a chapter. * Do people really care?


  • Episode-based serial? Like every 3 months there's a small publication.

Audiences for the Awesome Story

* Trustees
* Potential applicants
* Press/partners
* Chapters
* Other allies / movements

Potential Outputs: - Book proposal for traditional publishing? Crowdfund projects? - "Best of" collections. - Chapter-specific messaging on the application form. - 2-minute elevator pitch.

  • Write a creative brief tomorrow.
  • About Us

High-Level Questions

  • Who are our audiences?
  • What's relevant to each audiences?