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Digital Storytelling Toolkit

Learn how to tell your nonprofit’s story with video, audio, photography, and more.

Digital Storytelling Kit 
Elliot Harmon and Michael DeLong - April 12, 2012

You've got your camera and video-editing software; what now? Try these resources and get started capturing your nonprofit or public library's story and sharing it with your community.

How does your organization tell its story? When you upload a video, a photograph, or a blog post about your nonprofit's work, whom are you trying to reach with it? What do you expect them to do after they see it?

TechSoup Global hosts an annual Digital Storytelling Challenge. Each year, nonprofits and NGOs all over the world submit their photographs and videos, and we award prizes to a few of our favorites. We also ask veteran storytellers to share their insights and expertise via webinar presentations, live webcasts, guest blog posts, and more.

In this short article, we've compiled some of our favorite digital storytelling resources, both from our own archives and other sites.

Tools for Digital Storytelling from TechSoup

Adobe Creative Suite applications — widely considered an industry standard for video, online, and print production — are available at TechSoup, both as individual products and in bundles. For more digital storytelling product offerings, see our Web, Multimedia, and Design page.

Getting Started with Adobe Products

Adobe Creative Suite products can be overwhelming at first to new users — and professional designers can spend years mastering them — but with a little practice, you'll be well on your way to designing better online and printed material at your nonprofit.

  • Donated subscriptions to Adobe's online training programs are available at TechSoup. Learn more about the training programs and find out if your organization is eligible.
  • Adobe design evangelist Terry White hosts the excellent Creative Suite Podcast. Subscribe to the podcast on your media player or search the extensive archive for the product or feature you'd like to see a demo of.
  • Visit Adobe's learning resources page for video tutorials, how-tos, and troubleshooting tips.
  • Ask questions and connect with other Creative Suite users in Adobe's Creative Suite forum.

Archived Webinars

Listen to digital storytelling experts walk through the process of telling your story by video. Each archived webinar video also has a discussion thread in which you can post your own questions and ideas.

Tweet Chat Recaps

TechSoup frequently hosts tweet chats in which users come together over Twitter to share their ideas and opinions about a certain topic. For each Digital Storytelling tweet chat, we've pulled together the most interesting tweets in a short recap.

Video Production Resources

Have questions about the basics of video production? Get started with these how-tos.

Additional Resources

Lights. Camera. Help. sponsors an annual Nonprofit Film Festival. The organization also offers numerous resources on digital video production and distribution, including recommendations for inexpensive equipment and software.

The Tactical Technology Collective offers excellent toolkits on storytelling, activism, data visualization, and more.

The Center for Digital Storytelling has programs supporting people in sharing and bearing witness to stories that lead to learning, action, and positive change. It offers a variety of workshops for educators, health workers, and the general public.

See3 Communications is an interactive communications agency that works exclusively with nonprofits, foundations, associations, and social causes. It produces the DoGooder Nonprofit Video Awards every year in partnership with YouTube.

The Digital Naturalist is a resource-packed blog focused on video, film, and multimedia with a cause. It brings together a panel of experts to analyze successful digital storytelling, establish helpful guidelines for advocacy groups, and shine a light on effective examples.

TechSoup's Nonprofit Social Media 101 Wiki contains a section on YouTube, showing you how to get the most out of sharing your organization's story on one of the most popular social media sites online.

Image: What's your story, Shutterstock