Development In Gardening (DIG)


To improve the nutrition and livelihoods of some of the world’s most uniquely vulnerable people by teaching them to plant restorative gardens that grow health, wealth and a sense of belonging.


To develop a toolkit for sharing critical elements of DIG’s program with partners.

Research Activities

To share the impact of its programs, the DIG US team collects and circulates stories from the field on its social media pages and website. We interviewed employees across multiple teams and countries, analyzed the existing digital communication systems, and reviewed storytelling resources previously created by the enterprise to streamline the communication of stories from the field to DIG’s US audience. We also analyzed data from hundreds of previous social media posts and researched industry best practices to offer strategies for improving the effectiveness of the social media pages and website in communicating impact and optimizing audience engagement.

Key Findings:

  1. The voice of the beneficiaries is the voice of the enterprise. DIG farmers should serve as the primary storytellers across DIG’s digital communication platforms, so that their voices are amplified. To accomplish this, the DIG field team should continue to share authentic and detailed stories and images with the DIG US team, which are circulated to DIG’s US audience on its digital platforms.
  2. Consistency in public communications increases professionalism. Strong digital communications are characterized by consistent branding, voice, and style. These attributes demonstrate professionalism, which is an attractive quality to partners and donors.
  3. Networking in digital communications boosts reach and engagement. When DIG collaborates with its large network of partner organizations, chefs, and board members to create and share posts, audience reach and engagement on social media increases.
  4. Connecting digital platforms strengthens storytelling. Social media is a valuable tool for sharing photos from the field, but it should not be the only mode of communication for sharing stories. DIG recently revamped its website with a series of blogs from field managers. The social media profiles should work in tandem with the website by drawing attention to the more detailed information and stories shared on the website.


  1. Social Media Manager Guidebook. Features a Strategy Guide, a Style Guide, and a Social Media Manager Responsibilities Guide to establish consistency across social media posts and managers. Details best practices for collecting images and stories from the field, cataloging the content in a database, shaping a narrative, and implementing effective social media posting strategies to increase audience engagement.
      1. Download the Strategy Guide
      2. Download the Style Guide
      3. Download the Social Media Manager Responsibilities Guide
  2. Program Manager Digital Storytelling Resource. Serves as a resource for Program Managers to capture quality images and share detailed captions for effective digital storytelling.
      1. Download the Digital Storytelling Resource


Social Enterprise:
Development in Gardening

Julia Jenak
Environmental Studies
LinkedIn | Blog 

Bryn Pellowe
Environmental Science, Economics