4 Key Elements to The Success of the DoGooder Nonprofit Winners | Miratel Solutions

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4 Key Elements to The Success of the DoGooder Nonprofit Video Winners

In February I wrote about the DoGooder nonprofit video contest sponsored by See 3 Communications, YouTube, The Nonprofit Technological Network (NTEN), Cisco Systems and the Case Foundation. The winners were recently announced on Thursday April 5th at the Washington D.C. Nonprofit Technology Conference in five categories and I would like to congratulate each as follows:

  • Best Small Organization. “Protect Our Defenders” by Protect Our Defenders: A video focusing on the issue of rape in the military and highlights the stories of four different US military veterans and survivors of rape or sexual assault. YouTube Preview Image
  • Best Medium Organization. “Solid Women” by the Fonkoze: This video spotlights a group of 5 Haitian women rebuilding their lives and their communities through the help of Fonkoze’s (a micro-finance institution) loans to run their own businesses to gain financial independence and support their families.YouTube Preview Image
  • Best Large Organization. “Adding Tomorrows” by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: This video portrays three individuals diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis and focuses on living with Cystic Fibrosis and the advancements made by the foundation to improve their quality of life. YouTube Preview Image
  • Best Video Storytelling (special category). “Yes, That’s My Father” by the World Memory Project: This video tells the story of a man who lost his father during the Holocaust and did not know his fate for almost 65 years until given a recovered document of his father’s helping him recover his identity. YouTube Preview Image
  • Fearless Video (special category). “The Story of Cholera” by the Global Health Media Project: A cartoon video story showing how Cholera is spread and how it is preventable. YouTube Preview Image

In watching the winning videos, I noticed there were 4 key elements amongst them, some of which I included in 6 Tips for a Successful Video and Viral Marketing Nonprofit Fundraising Campaign but are worth mentioning again as they applied to these winning videos:

  1. Tell a Good Story. A common element in each one of the winning videos is that they tell a personal story. In fact, the Best Small, Medium & Large Organization videos had several personal stories being told at once, without losing focus or being confusing. In doing this, it personalized the cause making it relatable to a broader spectrum of the audience. “The Story of Cholera” was filmed in a cartoon village setting and focused more on the epidemic itself and how it spreads. Each was engaging, either by making you sympathetic to those affected or by wanting you to learn more about the cause and how to help.dogooder-2012-nonprofit-fundraising
  2. Effective Editing. As I have previously mentioned, nonprofit videos do not need to be large Hollywood productions and I maintain that position. However, the editing of a video is as important as the story being told. Editing is not necessarily about the footage captured or the quality of its production value. It’s about the message and organizing the images or footage in a manner that best supports that story and keeping a fluidity from beginning to end. Each one of the winning videos had a natural cohesiveness that guided the audience through the intricacies of each story and editing played a large role in this.
  3. Timing. The length of a video is very relevant to its success – you don’t want it too long that it loses appeal but you also don’t want it too short and risk compromising your message either. The winning videos this year range from 1 minute and 45 seconds to 6 minutes. Interestingly in this case, the length of the video seemed to parallel the size of the organization whereby the Best Small Organization’s video was 1 minute and 45 seconds in length and the Best Large Organization produced a 6 minute video. As I started to watch the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation video, I was concerned that the length may be too long at 6 minutes but after watching it I realized it was an effective use of time on their part. They told their story and included the progress and advancements in the treatment for the condition.
  4. Call To Action. Each of the winning videos concluded with direct links to their website or a way for the viewer to take action. Protect Our Defenders took it a step further and provided links not only to their website but also their Facebook page and their Twitter account. In the case of The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation they included a link directly to make a donation. In making their videos, these winning organizations were cognizant of not only telling a powerful story and engaging their viewers but also including clear actions for the audience to both build on their engagement and gain their support.

Although, this year’s contest is officially over, it’s not too early to start planning and producing for next year’s DoGooder awards. Applying the above elements used by this year’s winners just may help get your video in the winner’s circle too. You may also want to read 6 Steps to Producing Successful On-Screen Nonprofit Videos to help you get started. Will you be submitting a video next year?

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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery services, donation caging, donation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.

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2 Responses to 4 Key Elements to The Success of the DoGooder Nonprofit Video Winners

  1. This was my first year as a judge for these awards and I found the experience fascinating. Your four tips are bang on.

  2. That must have been such an interesting experience. You selected excellent winner’s. Thanks for reading and for your comments.

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