Families USA created the Story Bank Toolkit to help organizations incorporate people’s stories and voices into their work.

How does your organization get started actually collecting personal stories? This section reviews how to identify a story, approach a potential storyteller, and build an organizational culture of collecting stories.

Asking someone to share his or her story

Once you’ve identified someone with a story, how do you ask him or her to share his or her story with you? This video includes examples of different approaches used by Families USA.

Building a story lead

Stories can be collected through events, outreach, and other activities. People collecting stories do not need to be experts—they just need to know what your organization is looking for and how to ask someone to share a story.

How to Build a Strong Story Lead: Describes how to capture essential information when talking to a potential storyteller.


Training on story collection

It is important to train as many people in your organization as possible about collecting stories. There’s no way to predict how or when staff, volunteers, or other representatives of your organization may interact with people who may have stories to tell. You want them to always be ready and equipped to get people’s stories.

How to Train People to Collect Stories: Reviews which topics are necessary to prepare as many people as possible on how to identify a story and approach a storyteller.