Tag Archives: resource spotlight

Resource Spotlight: YouTube Nonprofit Program

If you’re looking to improve your nonprofit’s video presence and have yet to sign up for YouTube’s Nonprofit Program, hold the phones and go do that right now.
Did you do it? Need more convincing or some guidance? No worries, I have a lot to say about this program and almost all of it is good (see the bottom of this post for my thoughts on what’s not so good about it). I’ll keep this overview brief and delve into specifics in later posts.
YouTube’s Nonprofit Program debuted as a Clinton Global Initiative commitment in September of 2007 to give nonprofits a competitive chance to stand out and engage their audiences. The program allows 501(c)(3) organizations to apply via an online form to qualify for certain perks that standard YouTube users aren’t afforded.
Perks of being a nonprofit page:
  • No ads! No advertisements will pop up on top of or play before your videos.
  • Call to Action overlays
  • Annotations
  • Custom thumbnails
  • Linkable headers
  • Linkable sidebar images
  • Customizable information boxes
Stay tuned for some ‘how-to’ posts in the near future walking you through how to fully take advantage of each of these perks and for tips on how to use them in engaging, non-annoying ways. When I worked at the International Justice Mission, I oversaw the transformation of their old YouTube page into this new version by activating their nonprofit channel and utilizing the perks within (beauty props to the graphic designers on the project).

After you’ve created your own beautiful nonprofit channel, you’ll begin to see how crucial some seemingly tiny perks are. Imagine the possibilities of being able to directly link your site’s donation page at the end of a particularly compelling video or being able to advertise seasonal campaigns and events by changing your sidebar image and embedded link?
If you can’t imagine on your own, let me paint the picture for you: you are a small nonprofit trying to bring awareness to and tackle obesity in your small town. You have a handful of volunteers with inspiring stories of how they’ve taken control of their weight and gone on to win 5 triathlons. You’ve used your iPhone to film one of them telling their story and asking others to join their weekly Saturday morning walk/jog in the park. The video is perfect and the call to join is poignent, but where does your audience go from there? They’ve watched the video on YouTube and are about to click away to watch a video advertising itself as “Cute Cats and Babies and Funny things”. You’re going to lose them before they even visit your website.
Now, what if the end of your video had a graphic that looked something like this:
and it stayed like this for the final 10 seconds of the video? What if you could click that graphic and be sent straight to your organization’s website where people could sign up to get on the walking-to-fight-obesity listserv? For something that costs nothing, your impact on the community and your return is exponential.
If you really get into designing out your page and taking advantage of all the various perks, you will hit a point where you’ll see a super cool YouTube page that has pulled out all the marketing stops. Maybe it’s the Adidas or YouTube’s own Five Year channel, but you’ll see it and you’ll go, “I want to do THAT for my nonprofit”. Unfortunately some of the really fancy bells and whistles are reserved for brand channels. Brand channels are the commercial brothers of nonprofit pages on YouTube and are pretty pricy. It was a top notch move to offer such a great free upgrade for 501(c)(3) organizations, but at the same time, there is still a lot that we in the nonprofit world can wish for. Some hopes and dreams for the future of this program:
  • not just better but any amount of customer service/troubleshooting/help–right now there is no Google or YouTube help dedicated to the Nonprofit Program, not even a contact form
  • the ability to customize the page to the degree of the brand channels
  • quicker and more consistent turn around from application to delivery– I have heard from several nonprofits that their request to join the program was either never answered or approved and then never initiated
Despite these thoughts, I love the YouTube Nonprofit program. If you have any questions, general or super specific, about the program, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. Now go join! http://www.youtube.com/nonprofits
Tagged ,

Resource: Pinterest

For those of you who are familiar with Pinterest, have you ever considered how it could help you curate images and video that tell the story of your organization? If you’ve never heard of Pinterest, get ready for a new delight in your personal and professional world. 

Pinterest is a social sharing site. Its framework is composed of pins and boards: pins are the images or videos you or others have found on the web and boards are the groups they are pinned to (like different brainstorming cork boards in an office). For example, I pin different videos nonprofits make and group them into categories like “Design Props” or “Use of Overlays & Annotations”. This way, I can easily share great examples with my followers as well as anyone following the overall design category.

Pinterest has spread like wildfire through social media and word of mouth, but I haven’t seen organizations taking much advantage of this great platform yet. You can see how individuals are already creating boards around nonprofit organizations and social issues, though, so why not create one intentionally highlighting videos and images that show the need for your organization. Here are some boards about “nonprofits” and as of this writing, there are 8,189 pins associated with breast cancer, 16,650 associated with climate change, 9,941 associated with hospice care, etc. It’s a fantastic pool of images and notes showing what people who are interested in different issues find compelling as well as products and projects they find interesting enough to share with others.

Ways your nonprofit can use Pinterest to your media making advantage:

  • research what your audience is interested in by searching key words associated with your organization
  • curate a board of videos and photos depicting your organization’s work–but follow Pinterest’s rule #3 and don’t use it solely for self promotion; Pinterest-ers are interested in quality, not self-aggrandizement so if you create a board depicting your work, pull in pins from sources other than yourself and get creative as you express your mission
  • create a board with multiple pinners from your organization who can all contribute to a collage representing your work or their interests showing why they care about your organization
  • find projects and people that are associated with your cause and get new ideas for your local chapter or organization

One downside is that pinning video only works with YouTube right now, but hopefully the Pinterest team will be adding Vimeo and others soon. Leave a comment if your organization is pinning and I’ll be sure to follow, and let me know if there are videos you’d like to see pinned to one of my boards– I’m always looking for good examples!

Tagged , , , , ,

Resource Spotlight: Prelinger Archives

The Prelinger Archives has long been a favorite resource of mine. The online library was founded by Rick Prelinger in 1983 as a collection of ephemeral films (advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur) and has become a fantastic place to find footage, images, text and audio that are available in the public domain.

It’s fun to peruse the library and find gems like the Destination Earth cartoon that extolls the virtues of oil and capitalism as pillars of success presented by the American Petroleum Institute in 1956. And maybe a nonprofit helping clean up from the oil spill could use it!

But what’s important for nonprofits is that the library contains a few thousand pieces in the public domain that anyone can download, reuse, remix and republish for their own purposes.

I love the language on the site inviting visitors to use the collection:

You are warmly encouraged to download, use and reproduce these films in whole or in part, in any medium or market throughout the world. You are also warmly encouraged to share, exchange, redistribute, transfer and copy these films, and especially encouraged to do so for free.

How can you say no to such an invitation?

So, for example, an organization dedicated to preserving historical traditions in Manhattan might not have the time or the resources to take out equipment and film all over the city. But in the Prelinger Archives, the group might find a piece such as this 1937 RKO Radio Pictures piece that was once part of the World on Parade series.

With such a fun find, I can see any number of projects blooming:

  • tweeting about the piece to start a conversation about how the city has changed, asking for stories from constituents’ own recollections
  • juxtaposing the footage with some updated footage to show how things have changed (find updated footage in YouTube’s Creative Commons cache)
  • place an audio recording of the nonprofit’s CEO explaining the importance of the group’s work and its future aims over the footage
  • allow the video to play in the background of an event or fundraiser, just to add something extra
  • I’ll save some ideas for future blog posts…
Another great thing about the archives is that as soon as you’re finished remixing footage you find there, you can upload your new final product to the library where someone else can find it and learn about your work. And who knows what you might find! Maybe even a video or photograph of the building you’re in right now from 75 years ago! I’ve seen several documentaries use these clips and it’s time for nonprofits looking to step up their media game to get their hands into these archives! Get to it.
Tagged , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: