Enrich Your Conversations and Stories

By Jill Paul, Mentor, JCamp 180

Have you heard of the Jewish Women's Archives (JWA)? I recently discovered this wonderful resource that has obvious implications for getting to know your donors, your alumni and most importantly the stories of Jewish women (and men!) in your camp community. I've been subscribing to the JWA blog since visiting their booth at Foundation for Jewish Camp's Leaders Assembly.  Each week, I learn about new and interesting women, and I am reminded of all the women in my life, at the camps I visit, and in this world that have made a difference. I am also reminded of the power of story.

Donors, alumni, staff, prospects have special stories beyond "I loved camp!" People have stories that reveal so much more that enriches our understanding of them…and humanity in general. But how do you help people tell these deep stories?

JWA provides Oral History Tools to help conduct life history interviews. In particular, they have created a free how-to guide called In Our Own Voices. It contains sample questions to ask in an interview and many other helpful resources.

Need more help crafting the best questions for your next donor or alumni interview? Consider these sample questions from StoryCorps. Between these two incredible resources, you will expand your repertoire of questions and make conversations more meaningful for you and your camp. You'll get beyond "I loved camp!" and better understand the lives of your donors and alumni.