Social change today is fueled by powerful stories. Since 2009, Media Impact Funders reports, funders have spent almost five billion dollars on everything from journalism to digital content to documentaries to radio in the U.S. alone (and this doesn’t include contributions to games, new platforms, etc.). Whereas in previous decades a handful of funders were leading the charge, now over ten thousand funders — issue-focused, family philanthropies, private donors, etc.– are supporting creative media. It’s hard to imagine what our social and cultural landscape would look like without those first pioneers.

That’s why, for almost a decade, Active Voice Lab has been in close contact with a wide array of funders to learn about their successes, strategies, expectations, and, yes, even hair-raising experiences when working with creative media. Along the way we’ve asked some provocative questions: What do you wish creatives knew about grantmaking? What are the opportunities and consequences when linking their work to outcomes? How do you measure success?

We believe that the more philanthropists, storytellers, advocates, and others know about each other’s realities, the more likely they are to thrive together and support the movements they mutually care about. So whether your organization is just starting to explore a digital storytelling project or has been funding media since the days of antenna-topped TVs, we hope you’ll browse this site and find the ideas and tools you need to maximize the power of creative work.

Why is Active Voice Lab so passionate about raising these issues across sectors? Read about our approach.


Needhdwk-horticulture-banner-02 a communications framework that helps you describe how a story can help you achieve your philanthropic objectives? Consider Horticulture.


With so many assessment tools to choose from, how do you know if a story is helping you make a difference? Learn from our evaluation experts.


Want to engage your staff and/or board in a frank and lively discussion about using media strategically? Talk to us about a workshop or consulting project.


Lead image from Counterpoints’ “Arts & Social Change” Retreat © 2016 Jillian Edelstein