The Winning Nonprofit Digital Stories From TechSoup's Storymakers Contest
Over the past few years, there's been a growing interest and value in short-form digital storytelling for fundraising. Social media and reduced attention spans certainly have something to do with this popularity.
Beyond technology and trends, sharing stories is an incredibly effective and long-lasting way of engaging and influencing emotions, values, judgments and imaginations — all of which can boost nonprofit fundraising efforts.
But how can stories touch hearts and minds if they go unnoticed and unheard?
TechSoup's annual nonprofit storytelling campaign and contest, Storymakers, was created to help nonprofits and social-good organizations communicate differently, to build community, and to educate on how to tell powerful and effective stories for a global audience.
We were blown away by the global participation in this year's campaign. Without further ado, we're thrilled to announce the winners of TechSoup's Storymakers 2014 contest and to share their words about storytelling.
Best Story Overall (Grand Prize)
"At Stone Soup Films, we are dedicated to shining a light on small organizations who are making a big impact in their communities and firmly believe in the power of digital storytelling to inspire action. Hope House honored us by allowing our cameras into a maximum security prison to document their camp program reconnecting children with their incarcerated fathers," said Liz Norton, executive director, Stone Soup Films.
Youth or STEM Story
"'Free Running in Baltimore' was created in Wide Angle Youth Media's Mentoring Video Project Program. The film was made by our youth participant, Tyson Sanford-Griffin, whose love of free running has been hampered by safety concerns in urban Baltimore. His story encourages audience members to make their own communities a safe place where people can feel free to go outside and run without inhibition," said Sheila Wells, program director, Wide Angle Youth Media.
Super-Short Award, for a story under 20 seconds
"Imagine a world without light, without sight. When you are blind, it's like being in a dark hole. Operation Eyesight works to prevent blindness in the developing world. We wanted to create a video that explains how tragic avoidable blindness can be, and we're delighted to be recognized for our work in the 20-second storytelling category," said Lynne Dulaney, director of communications, Operation Eyesight.
Best New Storyteller, for an organization new to storytelling
Ken Amstutz, president of St. Luke's Health Care Foundation, shared that "this video was produced by Seth Demings, a filmmaker who visited the hospital in March 2014 and felt compelled to record and share some stories about what is happening in Soddo."
Audience Choice Award, voted on by the community
Alexandra (Ale) Bezdikian is TechSoup's interactive events and video producer. She writes story-driven pieces for the TechSoup blog and helps manage the annual digital storytelling campaign, Storymakers.