What is MISSION Story Slam?

At MISSION Story Slam, Storytellers from Philly’s Do-Gooder community (non-profits, B Corps, Sustainable Businesses, Activists, and Triple Bottom Line companies) will compete to tell the best 5 minute story on the theme of the evening in front of a panel of judges.  The Best Storyteller will have $250 donated to the non-profit of their choice. The audience will also vote on their favorite story and the Audience Favorite storyteller will have $100 donated to the non-profit of their choice.

All stories are recorded and made available for distribution on social media.

What are the Rules?

There aren't many "rules."  Your story should be:

  • Approximately 5 minutes in length

  • On the theme of the night

  • Be “as true as you remember it”

The following are not permitted:

  • No Notes

  • No Props

  • No Music

That's it?

Well... no.  There is "etiquette."

Your story should be a story.   It should have a beginning, middle and end.  It should have a point.

If you are going to use your story to complain about your boss, don't use your boss' name.  In fact, if you are going to say something bad about anyone, you should probably use a different name or nickname for them.  While we support your freedom of speech, we don't want to be named as a co-defendant in the defamation suit.  We don't have that kind of budget.  And honestly, they are not there to defend themselves.  So be fair.

How Do The Judges Score?

I'm sure they do very well.  But scoring for the competition is highly subjective.  The Judges will score each story on a scale of 1 to 10 in two categories: Content and Delivery.  The highest score will be the winner.


  • Is it a story?

  • Is it relatable to the theme of the evening?

  • Does it relate to a mission?


  • Is the story told in an engaging way?

  • Does it have a beginning, middle, and end?

  • Is it clear and understandable?

What is the Audience Favorite Award?

Starting with MISSION Story Slam 2 we will have an Audience Favorite Award.  The Audience will be given scorecards and asked to rate each storyteller on the same criteria as the Judges. In this case, the highest average score will determine the Audience Favorite Story and the winner of the $100 donation to the charity of their choice. 

How are Storytellers selected?

Storytellers  are selected by random drawing.  Audience members are asked if they would like to tell a story when they check in at the ticket desk.  Storytellers are asked to fill out a release form and identify the 501 (c)3 charity they would like to receive the donation should they win.  

But what if I am afraid?

That's fine.  Everybody gets the jitters.  Watch a couple of the videos.  This isn't a "TED Talk."  Nobody is analyzing your body language and counting your "ums."  This is is storytelling.  You will be amazed at how supportive people are here.  Tell us your truth as you know it.  You'll be great.

Do I have to work for a non-profit to tell a story?

MISSION Story Slam is by and for Philadelphia's Do-Gooder community:  Non-profits, B Corps, Sustainable Businesses, Activists, and Triple Bottom Line companies.  While you do not have to be employed in that area, your story should be about or directly related to working for or volunteering with and organization that is actively seeking to make the world a better place.  The final decision is completely left up to the judges' discretion.  

I don't make any money.  Can I be considered a "non-profit" and keep the prize?

Every storyteller must select a 501(c)3 registered non-profit to receive the donation if they win.  If the IRS has approved your application, Go For It!  Otherwise, we must insist the money go to a registered non-profit.  And yes, we check.

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