We all have a story. Here at TechSoup, we're on a mission to empower you to tell yours. We believe that you're only as good as the technology at your disposal. So, we want to help match your intended efforts with the right tools to achieve your goals. That's what the Digital Storytelling Challenge seeks to accomplish every year. We want to help inspire and educate you to be able to tell your own story with confidence and with success.

At the 2013 Digital Storytelling Awards Gala on May 28, the community's successes were clear. 

This year, we received more than 135 total submissions from social benefit organizations from far and wide! Our team was quite impressed with the quality of photos and videos submitted, and all the hard work that was put into each. 

First up are our awards selected by our panel of judges, hard-working digital storytelling experts who flexed their skills to pick strong stories to receive award donations from our sponsors.

Congratulations to all of these award winners, and collective gratitude to all the participants in this year’s digital storytelling challenge.

Without further ado...

First Place Video

Winning the 1st place award for best video story, may I present “Freedom to dream” by Charity Express/ Dalit Freedom Network.

 Charity Express will receive:

  • Connect2give suite annual plan
  • A Notebook PC
  • MobileBeacon hot spot and one year of unlimited 4G service
  • GoToMeeting with 25 seats
  • Atomic Training All Access yearly subscriptions
  • Flickr Pro account
  • Cisco Flip camera
  • Plantronics headset

Watch their story.

Virtually accepting the award on behalf of Charity Express was Britney Broadhead. She wrote, "First and foremost, I’d like to thank the Dalit Freedom Network Canada for letting us tell their story. Their compassionate hearts inspire us to do what we do.

I cried multiple times while making this short film and sifting through the footage provided to us by Chris De Souza and Ken Bartsch from YWAM in Wollongon, Australia. Hearing what those children want to be when they grow up motivated me to share the story with as many people as possible so that they would be able to realize their dreams.

As part of a new creative and strategic agency for charities, we are so honored and humbled to receive this award so early in our work. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts." 

First Place Photo

The shutter snappers at Keshet Dance Company based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico caught our judges' attention with their powerful slideshow titled "unlimited possibilities through dance," snapping up the first place prizes for best photo story.

Congrats to the Keshet Dance Company who will receive:

  • GoToMeeting with 25 seats
  • Atomic Training All Access yearly subscriptions
  • Flickr Pro account
  • Cisco Flip cameras
  • Seagate Hard Drive

View their Flickr set.

Second Place

We’re proud to present Youth Projects TV from Melbourne Australia with the 2nd place overall award for their submission titled: No one grows up wanting to be a drug addict.

Youth Projects TV will receive prizes from:

  • GoToMyPC
  • Atomic Training All Access yearly subscriptions
  • Flickr Pro 
  • Flip camera

Watch their story. 

Third Place

Winning 3rd place overall is Water School based out of Vancouver Canada, for their story “the solar solution that is changing the world.”

They will receive prizes from:

  • GoToMyPC
  • Atomic Training All Access yearly subscriptions
  • Flickr Pro 
  • Flip Camera

Mike Snyder, the videographer for the Water School, was available online to accept the award. he said, "On behalf of everyone at Water School and Michael Snyder of Interdependent Pictures, thank you so much for this award and for and believing in our story.  We've seen the potential for simple, community empowerment focused solutions to have a tremendous impact on some of the world's most pressing health and sustainability issues.  We know that the Solar Water Disinfection Movement is something that will keep growing and we are proud to be a catalyst and a partner in that process.  We encourage you to spread the message and keep up the good work that you do. Thank you again for your support. From Michael Snyder at Interdependent Pictures, and everyone at Water School."


Audience Choice Awards

For Best Photo Slideshow

Voted the top photo story by the community voice, here’s “Sowing Community” by Development in gardening (DIG).

DIG is a non-profit that improves the health and nutrition for people living with HIV/AIDS, orphans, young mothers, and other vulnerable populations in developing countries through sustainable community gardening. They do this by training people in agriculture and nutrition and providing resources to create projects that empower communities to meet their own needs.

DIG will receive a shiny new Lytro camera, thanks to our sponsors at Eventbrite with a value of $400. The Lytro camera is the only one of its kind that captures the entire light field, making photography a social sport by allowing you to focus in on pieces of the shot after you shoot - online!


View their Flickr set.

For Best Video

Voted the top video story by the community vote, here’s “The Light of the Heart” video by the Light of the Heart Community Art Therapy Project.

Light of the Heart will receive a $400 gift certificate to Best Buy to spend on amazing production hardware and accessories.

Honorable Mentions

For Veteran Storyteller

Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC)

1st Time Storyteller

Latino Organization of the Southwest (affiliate of Chicaco Area Project)

Rule Breaker


Emerging Media


Best Animation

Character GPS

TechSoup Special Projects

From CSi Train based out of Hamburg Germany presenting the “best story told using Second Life,” and Athens County Public Library in Ohio for the "best library" story.

Best Call to Action

 Animal Legal Defense Fund

Coffee Creek Quilters

Bean’s Café 

Health, Education, and Youth

 SHIFT Image Scoliosis

Neosho Freeman Family YMCA – Everyone has a Y story – Strong Kids Campaign

Foundation Escalera – School Changes Everything

Best Local Submission

Hands on Bay Area

Best International Submission

Save the Children India

Again, congratulations to all of the winners and participants of this year's challenge! Keep telling your amazing stories.

Alexandra Bezdikian
Interactive Events and Video Producer
TechSoup Global