January 23, 2019

Want action? Tell positive visual stories

Photo Courtesy of Gaia Visual

By Laura Mahler
Gaia Visual

Some methods of storytelling are more fruitful than others. And non-profits rely heavily on being able to tell their story really well.

For instance, studies into online donor activity reveal that video is currently the hot ticket to accessing hearts and minds: with a 64% higher response rate to ‘Calls To Action’ after watching, as opposed to other formats.

A tweet with an image will get around 150% more retweets than one without – imagery is one of the strongest means of storytelling in our world today.[1]

And prospective donors tell us this is true — 91% of audiences prefer visual or interactive messaging.[2]

Continue reading

June 5, 2013

Advocacy videos: Digital storytelling on a budget


Tell your nonprofit’s story with budget-friendly tools

Editor’s note: Lauren Major of Socialbrite just completed a three-part webinar series on video storytelling for the Alliance for Children and Families.

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, video producers, digital marketers, educators, storytellers, general public.

Lauren MajorEveryone agrees about the increasing importance of multimedia storytelling and getting the nonprofit message across.

There are many choices today for nonprofits when deciding how to tackle advocacy videos for online fundraising campaigns.

If a budget allows, the experts always recommend hiring a professional media company with the experience of producing with high quality video equipment and distributing in a way that gets the nonprofit’s message heard.

Using DSLR cameras, the film technology that offers a more cinematic look, we created a video for The Midnight Circus, a Chicago nonprofit that rebuilds parks in underdeveloped neighborhoods.

However, for smaller nonprofit projects such as thanking volunteers, creating quick updates of activities on social media and creating a portfolio of  video clips for a digital library, nonprofits may decide to produce multimedia stories on their own. Continue reading

May 23, 2013

10 tips for creating photos that tell stories

Post stories

Get supporters involved by sharing your story through pictures

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, marketers.

John HaydonThe Internet is slowly but surely becoming one big picture book.

Instagram and Pinterest have grown at astronomical rates precicely because they allow people to easily create, curate and share pictures. And Facebook has placed more importance on pictures, with cover images, full screen viewing and newsfeed preferences.

Photos are huge but simply posting photos is not enough. You have to post stories! Continue reading

May 22, 2013

What nonprofits can learn from public radio about storytelling

Photo courtesy of CubaGallery via Creative Commons

Should your organization incorporate audio into your digital communications toolkit?

Guest post by Will Coley
Producer-Founder, Aquifer Media

will coleyIf nonprofits want to learn how to create content that both engages audiences and creates devoted supporters, we need look no further than the gold standard offered each day by public radio. Think about it: Radio producers can create stories that keep us in the car for “driveway moments” even when we’ve reached home, just so we can hear the ending.

iheartnprPublic radio has created legions of devotees who give money for something they can already get for free. At the same time, we’re in the middle of a renaissance of digital audio online and via mobile technology.

To take advantage of this exciting and pivotal moment, nonprofits should consider adding audio storytelling to your digital communications toolkit. Here’s why. Continue reading

April 22, 2013

Not too late to enter TechSoup’s Digital Storytelling Challenge

A winning entry in the 2012 TechSoup Digital Storytelling Challenge.

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, video producers, marketing professionals, general public.

JD LasicaEvery spring about this time TechSoup does an amazing thing for the nonprofit community: It reminds us about the importance that visual storytelling plays in advancing causes and missions. And it helps us discover and tell our own stories by showcasing the best of the best in its Digital Storytelling Challenge. (The contest prizes aside, the acclaim that comes with being awarded one of the top award winners is certainly worthwhile.)


If you have a great video that you’ve created over the past year, or if you think you can pull one together on short notice, be aware that you have nine days left to enter your video in the contest.

As TechSoup says about the competition: “Without a good story, you’re just another cause in the crowd. But a good story also needs to be told in just the right way. Digital storytelling amps up your message with technology and powerful images.” Continue reading

March 8, 2013

Have a great visual story? Enter the DoGooder Awards

Annual video contest now open, with winners unveiled at NTC

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, educators, video producers, multimedia specialists, storytellers.

JD LasicaAll of a sudden, it feels as if nonprofit video storytelling is busting out all over. Tonight I’ll be heading into San Francisco for the Storytellers for Good film festival and fundraiser.

Over at TechSoup Global, the annual Digital Storytelling Challenge begins April 1 — here are the details (though the TechSoup website is experiencing a planned temporary outage).

And the 7th DoGooder Nonprofit Video Awards opened for entries on Tuesday. Continue reading