Families USA created the Story Bank Toolkit to help organizations incorporate people's stories and voices into their work.

This section reviews the decisions organizations must make about how story collection is handled internally and which tools they’ll need to collect stories.

Determining workflow

This video explains a few best practices for establishing an organized story bank operation. This accompanying worksheet lists questions to help you think through roles and responsibilities.

Selecting a database

One of the first questions organizations ask themselves when they decide to start a story bank is, “How will we store our stories?” 

Read an in-depth description of the major issues your organization should consider when searching for a storage solution that works for you.

How to Pick a Database: A list of questions to help you decide what kind of database you need


Creating tools

You should develop a variety of ways to collect stories in person and online. Read more about issues to consider when inviting story submissions through your website.


Using consent forms

An essential element of an effective story bank is the act of seeking and recording the storyteller’s consent. Read more about when to use a consent form, what to include in the form, and where in the process to mention it.


  • Consent Form: Basic form you can adapt for use in your story collecting process, after consultation with your legal counsel.