Stop RIGHT NOW and watch these four videos – this year’s winners of the 5th Annual DoGooder Nonprofit Video Awards.

These awards went to four incredible organizations in recognition of their creating the best nonprofit videos of the past year. The videos are creative, clever, informative, interesting, and above all – they are high impact. They videos exemplify how nonprofits can (and must) connect with the world and tell their stories with video. And you can do it too, no matter your budget!

Take the time right now to dig in by watching this year’s winning videos then draft an outline for your first (or next) video. It’s a powerful – and fun – medium!

Here is clear, how-to guidance on creating your video!

Please share your recommendations on video creation dos and don’ts here. Jumping in can be so daunting for the newbie!

Nancy Schwartz on April 5, 2011 in Video | 2 comments
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…via video, and every other medium.

I’m a big fan of The Wooster Group – an inventive, provocative theater company based in Manhattan. But this video, emailed out today to herald a forthcoming benefit, is just plain empty of  meaning.

Better not to say (or video) anything at all, than to release a video without meaning. That generates annoyance, the absolute enemy of engagement.

My bet is that no one outside the Group saw this video before it was released. Always test…even if the tester is your partner or neighbor. It’s not about you, it’s about your network (AGAIN)!

Have you seen or watched nonprofit marketing content that annoys you, or is empty? If so, please share the what and why with us.

Nancy Schwartz on January 7, 2011 in Video | 7 comments
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effective nonprofit videoOnline video is one of the best ways to tell your nonprofit’s story. When done right, it can forge powerful connections between your organization and your supporters, but only when it stands out from the competition in three minutes or less.

Read my article in the latest Fundraising Success to learn the 11 steps to take to launch a successful video for your nonprofit!

Teaser: Modest production values can generate huge impact. Take a look at this simple but powerful video from the St. Joseph  Ballet, developed to build understanding of its work and impact around its name change.

P.S. Get more in-depth articles, case studies and guides to nonprofit marketing (and video) success — all featured in the twice-monthly Getting Attention e-update. Subscribe today.

Nancy Schwartz on June 21, 2010 in Video | 1 comment
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David-Neff-nonprofit-videoWelcome back to guest blogger David Neff, of Lights.Action.Help., who’s going to guide you to nonprofit video success with possible cash prizes…

What’s the communications tool that’s going to make your nonprofit marketing campaign shine,  online and off? Quick, what springs to mind?

Well I’m here to tell you that it should be video. If you are going to do one new thing in 2010 to move your org forward, it should be producing a video. And yes, as the creator and co-founder of my Lights. Camera. Help., I’m a little biased!

Lights. Camera. Help. is the first nonprofit focused on helping other nonprofits engage their bases and motivate them to act through film. We do this through our education programs, volunteer match programs, screenings and and our annual film festival. But I’m here today to share three tips to help you get your video up and running.

  1. Check out the Flip Spotlight program for nonprofit organizations–This great program let’s you buy two cameras for the price of one, and all you have to do is summarize why your organization deserves to be in the program.
  2. When you start to film. check out Creative Commons to find amazing work to build upon.  Not everything you shoot needs to be video. Find some amazing photos and even music to mix in at no cost via Creative Commons.
  3. When you’re ready to launch the video, check out the amazing YouTube Non Profit program. Think about it: featuring your video on the #2 search engine in the world would is a great place to start. Just be sure to review the program’s rules and restrictions on the types of videos they accept.

In the meantime check out the Lights. Camera. Help. Film Festival for a little inspiration. Our 2010 submission process is now open. There is no cost to submit a film (long or short format) and there are cash prizes for the top feature film, short film and PSA.

So if you know of  powerful nonprofit video and film, urge those folks (or yourself) to submit them today.

Thanks, David!

Here’s more guidance on creating high-impact video for your org:

P.S. Get more in-depth articles, case studies and guides to nonprofit marketing (and video) success — all featured in the twice-monthly Getting Attention e-update. Subscribe today.

Guest Blogger on May 6, 2010 in Video | 2 comments
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I immediately clicked on the email invite to to the latest in‘s “you’re in the  news” video video series. This one–on Glenn Beck’s attack strategies–is one of the best ever. For Facebook users, it’s integrated Facebook Connect to pull info and photos from your profile. Here’s the video.

Here’s why it works so well: As my mom told me when I was in 5th grade (part of her “teach the kids some etiquette” program), everyone loves to hear their own name. So if you want to make someone feel good, or engage their interest, use their name in conversation.

You can imagine how many more points photos plus friends’ names gets, as incorporated in the video (privacy issues are another matter, for another day). It’s irresistible to share it via email as I was invited to do at the end of the video.

In addition, MoveOn makes it easy to share the video via social media platforms, serving up a one-click method to embed the video in your Facebook page and a few-click way to embed your video in a blog post.

Notes that those not on Facebook will get a different, somewhat less personalized experience. is counting on most of its supporters being there and I feel fairly confident they’re right.

P.S. Read this recent Getting Attention e-update article to learn 9 Steps to Nonprofit Video Success, Plus Our Mistakes to Avoid.

P.P.S. Get more in-depth articles, case studies and guides to nonprofit marketing success — all featured in the twice-monthly Getting Attention e-update. Subscribe today.

Nancy Schwartz on March 10, 2010 in Video | 0 comments
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Online video, which has become a wildly popular communications channel in the past few years, is one of the best ways there is to tell your nonprofit’s story.

Video, when done right, can forge powerful connections between your organization’s work and your base that drive viewer action (to donate, join or volunteer). But, that’s possible only when your video stands out from the competition, in two minutes or less.

We were thrilled to finally have the chance to produce our first Getting Attention video, and learned that while it’s not as easy as it looks, it’s worth overcoming the natural challenges such a project presents.

Read the full article to learn from our mistakes so you can produce a video that drives the action that your organization needs!

P.S. Get more in-depth articles, case studies and guides to
nonprofit marketing success — all featured in the twice-monthly
Getting Attention e-update.
Subscribe today.

Nancy Schwartz on March 4, 2010 in Video | 2 comments
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Did your org create a video in 2009? If so, enter your nonprofit’s video today in the 4th Annual DoGooder Nonprofit Video Awards. Awards will go to organizations of all sizes, including a special award for Best Innovation in Video.

Now is your chance to get your nonprofit video featured on the YouTube homepage, receive a grant from the Case Foundation, get great prizes from Flip Video and the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), and have
your work showcased at a screening in Washington DC.

The deadline for entries is March 19, at which point me and a great set of other nonprofit and media professionals (including superstars Guy Kawasaki, Gary Vaynerchuk and Beth Kanter) will select 16 finalists to compete in a public vote. Winners will be announced on April 10 at the Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) in Atlanta.

Don’t be shy. Entering your video is a great way to test the waters, even if you’re not confident that your video is a winner. Whatever the outcome, reaction to your video will give you some useful feedback for your next production!

P.S. Learn more about the 9 steps to online video success. It’ll help you in the 2010 awards. Promise!

Nancy Schwartz on March 2, 2010 in Video | 0 comments
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True MajorityMoms Rising Launch Blockbuster Mom's Day Video -- Fun & Effective True Majority & Moms Rising premiered a customizable video for Mothers Day. Another great example of engaging your base around an event that’s top of mind.

The video is pretty much irresistible. Try it!

Best yet, you have fun while Moms Rising reinforces its commitment to equity in pay, health care and more (review the strong cover email here), and harvests your email address when you pass the video on to your mom.

BTW, happy Mothers’ day Fran (my MIL)!

Nancy Schwartz on May 8, 2009 in Nonprofit Communications, Unique Approaches, Video | 2 comments
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Brilliant Awareness Building & Micro-fundraising Campaign for Global Women's Rights -- Twitter Used to Spread the Word like Wildfire

A powerful, imaginative coalition of organizations has formed to fight global poverty in honor of International Women's Day, in the A Powerful Noise campaign . Most interestingly, they've put a highly-viral micro-fundraising campaign on Twitter at the center of their awareness building strategy for global women's rights.

The campaign is working big time. Here's how:

  1. The coalition developed a documentary on the issue, entitled A Powerful Noise, to be shown on Intl. Women's Day (March 5th).
  2. The documentary is complemented by a visual petition (very cool) and the micro-fundraising campaign.
  3. Individuals (like me, and so many others already) were invited to include #apowerfulnoise in a tweet (a post on Twitter) anytime from March 2nd to March 5th. The word has spread like wildfire.
  4. For every post, film distributor NCM Fathom will donate $.50 to CARE (for up to 10,000 tweets), an organization working to end global poverty, in honor of the documentary's one-night premiere with a town hall discussion featuring women all-starts. The single night date drives immediate action.
  5. The tweet campaign (which I'm sure wil generate the full $5,000 donation) works far beyond raising that gift. More importantly, its working fantastically (at little organizational cost or effort — beyond the creative genius) to spread awareness to a huge network, peer-to-peer.

Jump on Twitter before COB March 5th to make a powerful noise; simply post an update including #apowerfulnoise. Then get thinking how you can put your base to work to expand your network — via Twitter or any other social media tool that makes it easy to spread the word.

Nancy Schwartz on March 4, 2009 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research, Nonprofit Communications, Social Media, Video, Viral Marketing | 1 comment
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Enter DoGooderTV Nonprofit Video Awards -- Great Motivation to Push Your Org to Produce a First-Time Video or Get to the Next LevelListen up! The 2009 DoGooderTV Nonprofit Video Awards are now open for submissions of all shapes and sizes — from organizational vlogs, to staff-produced web clips and high-end, professionally produced videos.

I see this contest like I see the triathlon I’m starting to train for — a compelling motivation to get myself to the next level. So whether your org hasn’t ventured into video channel yet, or is working on getting to the next level, use the DoGooder Awards as a reason to focus on it now. Video is powerful and here to stay. The more practiced your are, the more impact your videos will have.

Just do it! Video submissions will be accepted until March 26, when a panel of judges will select the finalists in each category.  The public voting period will open on April 7 and end on April 26.

BTW, Flip, the marvelously inexpensive and easy-to-use video camera, (our 5 year old uses ours with great success) offers nonprofits a way in with the Flip Video Spotlight program. Just complete the short application and you’ll hear back within 30 days on your eligibility. Once you’re eligible, you can purchase heavily discounted Flip kits – a kit containing two Flip Ultra camcorders, instructions, tutorials, and training materials.  Go for it! It’s a no lose proposition.

P.S. The right messaging is critical to the success of every nonprofit video! Download the free Nonprofit Tagline Report for must-dos, don’t dos, case studies and 1,000+ nonprofit tagline examples!

Nancy Schwartz on February 17, 2009 in Awards, Nonprofit Communications, Social Media, Video | 0 comments
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