UpRise Nashville understands the power of a story, and this non-profit is full of them: each year UpRise sends a fresh class of graduates – many of them felons and former addicts – into the workforce with new job training and life skills. It’s always difficult to choose just one inspiring story to highlight for donors at the end of the year, but in 2021, Uprise asked Stonecastle to create a video about a standout graduate named Tiffany.
Designing Tiffany’s story
Our goal with each project we produce is for the audience to say at the end, “Of course, that’s exactly how the story should be told – there was no other way.” A well-told story just flows from scene to scene effortlessly and carries the audience toward a satisfying ending. The video should look like all the puzzle pieces just naturally fit, but of course, that’s never actually the case. That’s why we refer to our creative development process as “story design.” It’s taking the facts of Tiffany’s life and organizing, re-arranging, and adapting it for the screen. And at the end, the audience is moved to think, participate, or in this case, give.
Mapping it all out
Uprise Nashville was preparing to make its push for end-of-year donations and needed a new story to tell. The team loved Tiffany’s story both for her accomplishments and how it featured an employer partner who took a chance on hiring her. This element was important to Uprise: they really wanted this video to give other potential employers a picture of what their investment in an Uprise graduate could look like. So as we planned out Tiffany’s narrative, we knew that we had to lead her (our hero) toward this objective by way of Uprise (her guide).
According to GiveSmart, UpRise Nashville’s campaign was one of the most successful on its entire giving platform. In a ten-day period ending on December 31, the non-profit raised more than $200,000.
"Barry and his team at Stonecastle are master storytellers who make their subjects feel seen, heard and valued. Their work has been catalytic for our organization – creating volunteers, donors and champions who are energized and informed about our work."