For business, storytelling is crucial. "Why Storytelling Will be the Biggest Business Skill of the Next 5 Years."
Storytelling should be a priority for small non-profits too. Your fundraising and volunteer base depends on how you tell the story of your work to the world. The challenge for most grassroots organizations, is the cost of media production.
Pooling resources is an old capacity building idea. I decided to see if it could work for mission driven small-scale video production, and at the urging of a friend, I started The Non-Profit Video Project. The goal is to help local non-profits produce compelling videos, to build financial and organizational capacity.
Video production requires a lot of people doing different jobs, which is why it can be expensive. So, you ask, how will we accomplish this miracle?
The model is based on these assumptions.
The Non-Profit Video Project officially launched our very first session in Belmont, MA a few weeks ago. I am directing the project, and the Belmont Media Center is providing support and technical assistance. This session is driven by volunteers. In the future, I envision the creation of a low-cost model that employs professionals in some of the production roles.
How does the volunteer model work?
In Belmont, I am facilitating a series of planning sessions with the leaders of each non-profit. Our work in the sessions is to come up with compelling concepts and scripts, plan shoot days, coordinate volunteer videographers and editors, and review footage and rough cuts. As a professional storyteller, I am guiding non-profit leaders through each step of the process.
The participating groups are:
Boston Area Gleaners
Habitat Intergenerational Program
Massachusetts Lifespan Respite Coalition
At the end, each non-profit will have a short, story-driven video to leverage recognition of their work, donations and volunteers.
"Subscribe to posts" above, for more like this. I will be writing on lessons learned from this project, and will be posting the finished videos. We hope we are creating a model that can work for other non-profits.
A shout out and thank you to the Belmont Media Center for supporting this crazy idea, and offering to be a testing ground for our first project. Don't forget to support your local community media!
As part of this collaboration, the finished videos will be aired on Belmont Media Center local access TV channels and will be hosted on belmontmedia.org; they may also be distributed to other community media centers and community access TV channels.
Your feedback and ideas are welcome!
Reflections on mission driven messaging for organizations, and practical tips for budget-friendly production. Occasional riffs on social justice. Grounded in the knowledge that storytelling drives social movements.
Documentary filmmaker and educator, former non-profit development director and labor organizer. Proud Mama. Based in Boston, MA. More here.
WITNESS Human Rights Video
Storytelling is a Business Skill
Center for Media and Social Impact
Progressive Communicators Network
Search by Category