Content, Content, Where Do I Get the Content?

I know.  You’re with a nonprofit or a likewise budget- and staff-challenged organization .  You read my last couple of posts that mentioned using YouTube and you thought “I have a tough enough time keeping my website from becoming stale, so how in the world am I ever going to get the time and resources to produce video for online?”  If I was standing next to you, you’d either pat me on the head and send me on my way or fall over laughing.

Let’s think this through. 

  • Is your organization ever covered by the local broadcast media, such as for a special event? Can you get clips? See this one of Univ. of Pittsburgh students’ polar bear plunge for diabetes research.  I’d love to know more about this event and who benefits, but it’s a great start.
  • Do you have volunteers (such as this guy who had his head shaved to raise funds for the Children’s Tumor Foundation) or staff who have digital video cameras? This would be better if there was even more in the description of the CTF….but they do have a great series of video with proper tags for search and they include a link to their website.  It’s authentic….what nonprofits need more of.
  • Do you have a volunteer who already posts to video-sharing sites and is “hip” to the social media scene?  Would they be interested in doing a video diary or summary of an ongoing or recent service project your organization is involved in? (This could also be accompanied by a blog linked to your web site, such as the UWA example I have in the best practice links).
  • Do you have a staff person or volunteer who would think this is a really cool project? (If you ask the right person with the interest and talent, it is not a burden to them).
  • Is there a high school or college near you that emphasizes or requires service projects?  Put the message out that you need assistance.

Mission In Action 

I especially like the idea of a video diary (with blog, if possible) of a service project or other worthy event.  This puts a human face on your organization; it allows for two-way communication with the online community.  Best of all, it “fits” better with the culture of social media, where the true blue bloggers and videophiles don’t really want to see the blog or video version of your press releases posted, even if you allow comments.  They want something genuine.

As I was writing this, I did a search on YouTube for service projects to see what was posted.  Some were better than others but they all served a purpose.  Probably the only thing lacking on most of these is a good description in “About This Video.”   Some are simply a slideshow of digital images put to music.  Some are barely-edited amateur video by a participant in the project (see Habitat for Humanity Ulster).  All of them give you a sense of what the group was doing and their passion for their organization.  (I wonder where all the video is from the Day of Caring projects around the country–that was in September.  A missed opportunity).

Like magic, there’s the content. 

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