Ask a Consultant Series, Session Thirteen: Using Data to Communicate Impact & Storytelling

  • 05/12/2021
  • 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
  • Virtual Office Hour

Ask a Consultant Series, Session Session Thirteen:
Using Data to Communicate Impact & Storytelling

Wednesday, May 12, 2021 
2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. CST
Free Webinar - Registration Required


Join Forefront and the Association of Consultants to Nonprofits for the upcoming Ask A Consultant: an interactive, solutions-oriented, virtual office hour with experienced consultants focusing on participants’ burning questions.

Panelists: Amelia Kohm of Data Viz for Nonprofits, Lauren Ready of Forever Ready Productions, Mindy Faber of Convergence Design Lab and Gordon Mayer of Gordon Mayer Communications.

Amelia Kohm, PhD, is the founder of Data Viz for Nonprofits (DVN) which delivers high-quality visualizations that help organizations to quickly grasp their data, improve their work, and show their impact. Amelia has more than 25 years of experience studying, funding, and evaluating human services. She was a researcher at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, a child policy research center, where she conducted studies on a wide variety of issues impacting children and families. Prior to Chapin Hall, she worked as a program officer at the Sears Roebuck Foundation and at the Illinois Humanities Council. She earned her BA from Haverford College, an MA from the School of Social Services Administration at the University of Chicago, and a PhD from the University of Bath. She was trained in data visualization at the University of Washington.

Amelia will cover the following:

  • Why humans can be so data-skeptical or data-averse.
  • How to use our visual superpowers to make data digestible.
  • Tips for clarifying "the story" behind the data.
  • By the way "the story" is rarely is rarely War and Peace (or even The Three Bears)
  • Choosing the right chart for the job.
  • Deploying data viz in social media.

Mindy Faber is the Executive Director of Convergence Design Lab, a woman-owned and equity-first agency working at the intersections of research, strategy and design. Convergence conducts participatory evaluation and design for learning organization and nonprofits such as Chicago Public Schools Office of Equity, Spy Hop Productions, Urban Alliance and the American Library Association. Mindy and her team draw on principles of participatory action research, play, empathy and design thinking to help nonprofits engage their stakeholders in sense-making and data storytelling. Convergence facilitates “data therapy” sessions, conducts evaluation, builds interactive tools, designs multimedia content and games, and catalyzes playful and authentic collaboration among nonprofit teams.

Lauren Ready is an Emmy award winning storyteller and owner of Forever Ready Productions. She specializes in telling video stories for non-profits. She's on a mission to make video accessible to all non-profits. Her unique TV journalism experience, combined with her heart for the work, makes a compelling story come to life through video. It’s this background in reporting — where production happens fast and complex human stories are at the center — that gives Forever Ready its unique creative edge. Lauren’s specialty is taking moments of human experience and turning them into dynamic and compelling short videos. She digs deeper than the headline to tell untold stories with impact.

Gordon Mayer provides marketing communications and public relations services to nonprofits, mission-driven firms and foundations to help you find and tell the stories that matter most about your work to the people who can help move the agenda forward.

He's a writer and storyteller who has been ensuring all stakeholders have a voice in shaping effective and fair policy for more than 20 years.

He focuses on helping nonprofits and businesses with complex stories share their work and impact with the people they care about (your base and customers, your funders and partners, your mom…)

From Gordon: Stories are qualitative data - they provide concrete, rich details. In addition to illustrating they can give audiences a feel for what the other data mean. Example: I can tell you all sorts of information about immigration. Or a story about immigration: a colleague shared with me that when she was 9 and living in Baghdad in 1991 as the first bombs of the gulf war fell. Her baby sister was named Farah which means joy. But they changed her name to Dina because the name no longer seemed to fit the times. The family emigrated to the U.S.

I can share a few examples of stories that give a feel for the data. I can also share some tips on the workflow - gather-edit-get approvals. And we can talk about the ethics of gathering stories from clients.

Moderator: Anita Banerji

Anita Banerji is currently a consultant to the national civil rights organization the Leadership Conference Education Fund. Formerly, she led the Illinois Count Me In 2020 program composed of a funders' collaborative with 22 IL Foundations and a nonprofit coalition with more than 50 organizations across the state, as Director of Forefront's Democracy Initiative. In this role she worked closely with the City of Chicago, Cook County, the State of Illinois and numerous philanthropy and nonprofit organizations to ensure all Illinoisans were fairly and accurately counted in the 2020 Census. She also served as a City of Chicago Complete Count Committee Member and was an appointed member to the Cook County Complete Count Census Commission. Over the course of two decades, Anita has worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and Illinois State Government, as well as the larger nonprofit sector. Anita has also lobbied on the sugary sweetened beverage campaign through the American Heart Association for Cook County and the State of Illinois. Prior to that, she served as Legislative Director for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. She holds a master’s degree in communications from DePaul University and a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is also a 2019 Edgar Fellows alum, a 2010 Illinois Women’s Institute in Leadership (IWIL) alum, and has dedicated volunteer capacity to candidates running for office locally, statewide and across the country.

New topics will be offered each session. If you would like to suggest a topic, please share your ideas here.

The Association of Consultants to Nonprofits | 400 E. Randolph St., #3115 | Chicago, IL 60601

Copyright 2022 ACN
Privacy Policy

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software