GlobalGiving Storytelling Project
“Tell us about a time when a person or an organization tried to change something in your community.”

Social challenges are complex. We have hundreds of projects that address social issues around the world. One of our core values is to never settle, so we're trying to improve how we measure the effectiveness of your donations and how we help project leaders best meet the needs of their communities.

At GlobalGiving we've learned that one of the best ways we can contribute to social change is to develop better feedback loops. We are committed to finding better ways for stakeholder voices to be heard in the development process. With initial funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, our Storytelling Project is an experiment in collecting community feedback. We've started by recording thousands of stories told by people from areas where GlobalGiving partners work.

“As change-makers we should not try to design a better world.
We should make better feedback loops.” -- Owen Barder

In 2010 and 2011, teams of over 1,000 local Kenyan and Ugandan scribes have collected 57,220 stories from over 5,000 community members by asking a simple question: "tell us about a time when a person or an organization tried to change something in your community."

These stories have covered a wide range of topics, problems, and solutions. So far, the community members have named more than 1,000 organizations related to something happening in their local communities, but we're far from done; we received 1,000 stories per month from 2010-2012 from towns and cities across Kenya and Uganda; we are now working to open up the storytelling project to all regions. We are also building and testing tools to turn these stories into data, which turns out to be no easy task. But in the spirit of "Listen, Act, Learn. Repeat." we will continue searching for better ways to complete feedback loops between communities in need and the organizations that serve them.

Browse, filter, and view 57,220 stories collected in Uganda and Kenya

We're trying to break through the self-report bias that often prevents international development from having a larger impact.

In our method every storyteller shares two stories about two different community efforts, so that we can detect and correct the self-report bias. By keeping the story prompting question broad and open-ended, we can identify community-focused organizations and potential innovators beyond our network. The openness of the question helps us build benchmarks from community sentiment and provide baseline data for future interventions not yet conceived.

We are developing ways to display these stories online so that anyone can explore the community feedback, uncover problems, and propose solutions. You can start by browsing the stories or viewing them on a map.

We will be adding more advanced story collection, filtering and analysis tools over time. Our goal is to create a complete online DIY community feedback toolkit that can be used by any organization that wants to collect and analyze community feedback.

If you would like to read more about our approach, download the Story Realbook.

Get Involved

If you are interested in collecting stories from your community now, you can download the GlobalGiving Storytelling Form (PDF). Once collected, please contact Britt Lake at and we can work with you to transcribe these stories into our online database.

If you are in Uganda or Kenya you can contact our local coordinators directly about getting involved. For Uganda contact Moses Kigozi at and for Kenya contact Zipporah Sangiluh at .

If you would like to help in analyzing these stories, please contact Marc Maxson at .

Learn more about the storytelling project in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Give Now

Help Us Expand the GlobalGiving Storytelling Program

You can support our efforts to create a DIY toolkit for collecting and analyzing community feedback by making a donation to GlobalGiving's Innovation Fund.

Search Stories

* Use single words or exact phrase only

Browse Stories

DIY Toolkit (Offline Version)

Download, print, and distribute the GlobalGiving Storytelling Form (PDF) to start collecting community feedback.

Once you have collected stories, we would love to work with you to transcribe them into our online database for analysis. Please contact Britt Lake at .

About GlobalGiving

GlobalGiving is an online marketplace that connects you to the causes and countries you care about. You select the projects you want to support, make a tax-deductible contribution, and get regular progress updates – so you can see your impact

Impact To Date

  • Over $155.2 million in donations since 2002
  • Over 10,900 projects have received funding
  • Over 408,900 donors have given

Portions of this framework are licensed from Cognitive Edge. For more information see www.sensemaker-suite.com