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#storymakers2017 is here!

We've got $10,000 in cash prizes.






15 August

TechSoup 30: What is your story? How to choose a compelling narrative arc. TechSoup 30s continue every Tuesday.

29 August

Twitter chat: #Storymakers2017
Topic: Nonprofit storytelling tools and methods

28 September

5 September

14 September

5 October

Twitter chat: #Storymakers2017
Topic: Go "Around the World" With Us

12 October

20 November

Winners announced

31 October

Contest closes

30 November

Storymakers Gala at Autodesk Gallery


There are many ways to participate in Storymakers 2017 and a wealth of free resources and trainings that are available during our contest. If you need production resources, visit our helpful short course or get our resource and event guides. If your question is about the campaign, let's see if this FAQ can help.

What is Storymakers?

Storymakers is a storytelling campaign that is focused on digital media. Its purpose is to build the skills of media makers and enthusiasts in the nonprofit sector. TechSoup has run this campaign for seven years. Our goal is to educate and inspire nonprofits to create powerful stories about the social benefits of their important work. During the campaign, we offer education, training, online and in-person workshop events, and a contest (the "Contest") to help you get started.

When is the Storymakers campaign?

Submissions will open September 5 at 12:01 a.m. PDT and close October 31, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. PDT. Expert and community voting will happen during the first two weeks of November, and prizes will be awarded by November 20.

Who is eligible to participate?

The Contest is open to new and seasoned nonprofit storytellers around the globe. Any nonprofit, library, or charity that is a 501(c)(3) organization (or its equivalent outside the United States) is allowed to enter. Feel free to enter with a YouTube video or an Instagram photo that uses your native language. Good storytelling should overcome language barriers.

Please refer to the terms and conditions for eligibility criteria. The Contest is void in some US states and the Canadian province of Québec. The Contest is void in any and all jurisdictions where advertising promotions for skill contests are prohibited or restricted by law. This Contest is also void in the U.S. Embargo Countries and Sanctioned Countries.

OK, I'm a TechSoup member nonprofit, library, or charitable organization. How can I participate?

After you submit your photos or video, we will communicate regularly via email about Storymakers 2017 activities. We encourage you to participate in these ways.

  1. Register for free webinars
  2. Participate in a Twitter chat or two
  3. Invite your coworkers and friends to vote
  4. Search, share, and connect around the web with the hashtag #Storymakers2017
  5. Create a short video or photo to submit
  6. Enter your story to win prizes and gain publicity through our global network
  7. Blog about the Contest on your own website

What are the submission categories?

  1. Local Impact — open to nonprofit organizations with a budget that is less than US$500,000
  2. Driving Change — open to nonprofit organizations with a budget that is US$500,000 to US$1 million, and proudly sponsored by Adobe.
  3. Shifting the Future — open to nonprofit organizations with a budget that is more than US$1 million
  4. Orbis Unum — open to nonprofit organizations outside the US
  5. People's Choice — inspire your community to vote for your story!

Please refer to the terms and conditions about required and prohibited content.

What are the prizes?

We will have a total of US$10,000 in cash prizes to award to organizations in five categories (see above).

How will voting and prizes work?

After our submission period closes on October 31, 2017, expert and community voting will happen during the first two weeks of November. Prizes will be announced by November 20, 2017.

You can vote once per 24-hour period in the People's Choice category during the voting period. The People's Choice Award will go to the submission with the highest number of votes in that category. A select group of judges will review the top submissions in the other four categories.

What is the time limit on a video submission?

We will accept a video that is up to five minutes in length. Please note that the average attention span when people view video content online is approximately 90 seconds.

How many entries can I submit?

This year, you can submit to only one award category that fits your budget.

  1. Local Impact — open to nonprofit organizations with a budget that is less than US$500,000 or local equivalent
  2. Driving Change — open to nonprofit organizations with a budget that is US$500,000 to US$1 million or local equivalent, and proudly sponsored by Adobe
  3. Shifting the Future — open to nonprofit organizations with a budget that is more than US$1 million or local equivalent

If you are an organization that is based outside the US, you can submit to the Orbis Unum Award AND a category that is based on budget size.

All eligible submissions that are made to the categories that are based on budget size and to the Orbis Unum Award are eligible to receive the People's Choice Award.

The goal of the Contest is to excite nonprofits about the power of digital storytelling, so we encourage you to submit your highest-quality videos.

I already made a short video for my organization; can I still enter?

Yes! You can submit videos that have been made within the last 12 months; as long as you meet the requirements, you're welcome to enter!

Is there any cost to enter or participate?

No, all webinars and resources are free, and it's free to enter the Contest.

Do I need to be a member of TechSoup?

No, you do not, but there is no cost to become a member. And members of TechSoup have access to a catalog of over 400 technology products. These products been donated by businesses such as Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec, Intuit, and more. Visit to become a TechSoup member.

Please note that if you are not currently a member, TechSoup will ensure that your organization meets the eligibility criteria for the Contest before we award any prizes. The eligibility criteria are outlined above.

Who do I contact with more questions?

Send us an email at


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Your event, your way. 

Get Started with Adobe Photoshop

Join us April 11 for a primer on all the cool and useful things you can do with Adobe Photoshop CC. It’s the first of our Tech30 series of 30-minute webinars. Join our free online course to get access to all Tech30 installments.


Get Your Nonprofit Storytelling Resource and Event Guides


Adobe is proud to sponsor the Driving Change Award, which is open to organizations with budgets of US$500,000 to US$1 million.



Check out previous Storymakers submissions.

To see more examples of previous Storymakers submissions, check out last year's winners in our blog post and more photo examples in our Storymakers featured photos.

Tell your story.

Step 1

Upload your video to YouTube or post a photo to Instagram with the hashtag #Storymakers2017.

Step 2

Fill out the form below and submit your video or photo story.

Step 3

Share your entry with friends to gain votes starting on November 1!


How do I participate in the Storymakers contest?

You can participate in the Storymakers contest by submitting one photo via Instagram and/or one video via YouTube.

  1. Submitting via Instagram: 
    • Choose one image that illustrates your story.
    • Upload that image to Instagram and tag it "#Storymakers2017."
    • Complete your entry form on our contest platform.
  2. Submitting a video via YouTube:
    • Create a digital video that is no more than five minutes long and tag it "Storymakers2017."
    • Complete the entry form on our contest platform and include the YouTube URL.

Twitter Chat

Our third annual Storymakers "Round the World" Twitter chat took place on October 5, 2017.

We shared the best storytelling tips from Latin America, Ghana, and Kenya: how storytelling can bring light to darkness, illuminating and inspiring change around the refugee crisis. Check out the conversation from the chat and discover the best tactics for storytelling and campaign advocacy as we examine the "Closing the Digital Divide" successes.

Enjoy our #Storymakers2017 Moments, where you can find all the conversations.

South Africa

  • Time: 2 p.m. South Africa Daylight Time (noon UTC, 8 a.m. EDT)
  • Topic: How Can Storytelling Be Used for Effective Organizing and Advocacy Work?
  • Hosts: @PhambanoTech


  • Time: 11 a.m. East Africa Time (8 a.m. UTC, 4 a.m. EDT)
  • Topic: How Can Storytelling Be Used for Resource Mobilization?
  • Hosts: @KCDF


  • Time: 5 p.m. Eastern European Standard Time (2 p.m. UTC, 10 a.m. EDT)
  • Topic: Finding Light in the Darkness: Storytelling in the Refugee Crisis
  • Hosts: @ImpactHubAthens


  • Time: 10 a.m. Central Daylight Time (3 p.m. UTC, 11 a.m. EDT)
  • Topic: Storytelling in Latin America
  • Hosts: @oscdigital

United States (New York)

  • Time: noon Eastern Daylight Time (4 p.m. UTC)
  • Topic: Storytelling and the Digital Divide: Advocating for Those Without Access
  • Hosts: @mobilebeacon


  • Time: 11 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time (7 a.m. EDT)
  • Topic: How Storytelling can be used to build Civil Society in West Africa
  • Hosts: @WACSI
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