Every year, the Steelcase Foundation reports inspiring stories from a few of the many grantees it supports. This year, the report focused on the people who work toward systematic change—not only staff, but volunteers, community partners, and the people who are engaged by or served by the programs.
View the complete project online here.
Credits: Kathleen O'Brien, copywriting and editing; Alysha Lach-White, illustration; Stefanie Gilmour, web design.
In her fifth year developing content for the foundation’s annual report, writer and editor Kathleen O’Brien suggested a new approach to expressing these stories.
We were delighted by how moving from crafted profiles to more intimate conversations allowed program directors to tell their stories through their own voices. These program leaders did a remarkable job sharing the powerful impact that people—from staff, to volunteers, to community members, to those served—have made in advancing change, actualizing the organization’s goals, and extending its reach. Beyond organizational management, these leaders play a central role in building the exposure, engagement, and service of others, and that influence is reflected in their own words through these interviews.
Reflecting on the experience of working to tell these stories, Kathleen O'Brien commented: "The program leaders I interviewed really were delighted to share their thoughts on the impact of a great number of people in advancing social change through their organizations.
"In their interviews, they spoke to who is engaged in their work, who benefits—directly and indirectly—and how they, as leaders, work to inspire and build the many and diverse groups who are critical achieving their mission.
"These are clearly leaders who get that a good idea is only that. A good idea. It takes the engagement and investment of many to grow that idea into a movement for change.
"I was completely inspired by their work and stories and I hope it’s the same for you as you meet them through these interviews."