2016 Year in Review — FINALLY!

2017 has been jam-packed with new opportunities, challenges and obligations. I’m finally getting a breather and wanted to share this year-in-review from 2016 with you.

Thanks for your support!


  1. Produced 6 live events
  2. Produced the first non-Missoula live event  in Helena, MT
  3. Mentored the first Tell Us Something intern
  4. Self-produced all podcasts
  5. Finally earned enough subscribers to be eligible for a custom domain on YouTube: youtube.com/tellussomething. Watch for the Tell Us Something YouTube channel to officially launch this spring.
  6. Co-produced two Tell Us Something Radio shows with Cherie Newman for MTPR
  7. Participated in SPARK trainings led by Kennedy Center teachers
  8. Developed relationships that led to a 2017 SPARK youth residency at Washington Middle School
  9. Developed new sponsor relationships with Cabinetparts.com, Missoula Broadcasting Company, The Good Food Store, Gecko Designs and Martin McCain Woodworks and Design
  10. Led a storytelling workshop during Philanthropy Northwest
2016 – challenges

Challenges are opportunities in disguise.

Knowing this, I will talk about the the two biggest challenges Tell Us Something faces (*besides* funding) in terms of how I began trying to solve them.

1) I started training with The Missoula Non-Profit Network about volunteer recruitment. I learned that one of the reasons the volunteers have been difficult for me to recruit is that I am seeking them from the wrong pool of potential volunteers. I am also not clearly defining the volunteer need and what their responsibilities are. In 2017 I will spend time completing a self inventory of strengths and weaknesses, using that inventory to define the volunteer need before launching another recruitment campaign.

2) Sandwich boards are an effective and free means of advertising live events. They have a very specific allowable area in Missoula in which they can be placed. Signage of this sort cannot impede traffic views or pedestrian traffic. I worked with a city official to understand that regulation and I deployed sandwich boards based upon that knowledge. Multiple times I was, according to the city, in violation of the policy despite doing everything I could to comply to the best of my understanding of the policy. Because an infraction costs $500 per sandwich board (I deployed three for each event), I determined that the risk was too high. I then began spending money on advertising for the first time.

Looking into 2017

The Tell Us Something season opener is March 21. The theme is “Don’t Look Back”. GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

Tell Us Something returns to Helena on April 6th at Free Ceramics. We are still recruiting storytellers. The theme is “The First Time”. Call 406.203.4683 to pitch your story. GET YOUR TICKETS HERE.

Missoula Gives is May 4th and 5th this year.

Thanks for reading. Remember: your story matters!