Power of Video

The one essential thing you need in your next story

Posted on November 25, 2011. Filed under: Power of Video | Tags: |

This video is a must-see for anyone working in nonprofit communications. Take 5 minutes, it is well worth it!

The one essential thing you need in your next story

The one essential thing? ONE.

Let me explain. Storytelling is a great way to compel action. And the key to action is emotion. And emotion is triggered most strongly by experiencing something on a scale of one.

This phenomenon is called the “identifiable victim effect” or “singularity effect.” In other words, when humans hear about one identifiable victim, we care more than when we hear about millions. We tend to donate more when we feel we are helping an identified, single individual. I’ve blogged quite a bit about it, but this video is worth sharing. Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational, sums up everything you need to know about this phenomenon in five minutes. Enjoy this short behavioral economics lecture!

And remember: The most important motivator in giving is how close people feel to a cause – whether it be to an identified victim or to a shared ideology. Your best bet is to build that closeness through stories about individuals.

Source: The one essential thing you need in your next story – http://bit.ly/n2RCQj

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Nonprofit Video: How Rhythm Keeps Us Watching

Posted on November 21, 2011. Filed under: Power of Video | Tags: , |

This article by Cam Hayduk and Kat Kelly is a wonderful exploration into what makes a successful video tick and it gives some great tips on how to structure your video storytelling.

The next step is to monetize your video content to open up a new fundraising channel for your organisation, and create an effective social media strategy to promote it.

Thank you for sharing Cam and Kat!

Nonprofit Video: How Rhythm Keeps Us Watching


Why do some online videos grab us, pull us in and capture our imagination for the few minutes that we watch them? What is it that separates the good videos from the truly great videos? We all know that length is important; online audiences demand brief messaging, and the importance of story telling cannot be emphasized enough, a good story is necessary. But, there is also another important element of a great video, something that drives the viewers attention and creates a deep connection: in a word, rhythm.

Human nature is drawn to rhythm. Our heart beats in rhythm and we struggle when we feel that things are out of sync. It’s easy to get distracted when we are confronted with multiple rhythms at once. When watching a well-crafted scene in a movie, documentary, or even an online video, the world outside melts away and our internal energy and emotion are in sync with the energy of what we’re viewing. We are experiencing life in the same rhythm. You can feel it, but it isn’t easy to articulate.

In editor Karen Pearlman’s book, Cutting Rhythms: Shaping the Film Edit, she states that most great editors claim to edit by “intuition”. She also equates film editing with dance choreography:

The intuitive, choreographic shaping of movement and energy over time… creates the rise and fall of tension and release in a film. That is the purpose of rhythm in film: to shape understanding and emotions through cycles of tension and release. Rhythm signals the story’s meaning and the character’s intentions at an immediate, physically recognizable level. By creating the waves of tension and release, the editor creates the film’s ‘beat’ or ‘pulse’. By riding the waves of tension and release, the spectator’s body rhythm is drawn into a kind of synchronization with the film’s rhythm.

The visual rhythm of the action in each individual shot is one element that drives the pacing of edits. Feeling the beat of people’s, movements, even the emotional pulse of a still image; this awareness of rhythm is key to creating engaging content.

Here is an example that creates incredible rhythm with the action in each shot. You are swept up as the tension and pacing mount.

Music can, of course, be a powerful tool for driving the rhythm of a video. The style can range from simple, intro and outro music to full on music video.

The “music video” style of this piece for Charity:Water is an almost perfect marriage of the tempo of the song and the emotion of the message contained in the lyrics and visuals.


The original Girl Effect video spawned a plethora of copy cats because it was unique and successful. Many of the copy cats incorporated the same motion graphics style, but few managed to achieve this level of emotional connection. Even if you’ve seen it a hundred times, watch it again with an awareness of its rhythm.

The tempo of the dialogue, which can be scripted, interview format, or even visual dialogue is another element that establishes the rhythm. In this piece promoting the creation of a National Park, we worked with the client to create rhythmic dialogue, which was edited beat for beat over a musical score we designed to mirror the pacing.

As all these rhythmic elements come together, it’s important to maintain a sense of the wider emotional arc of a piece. In feature animation, one of the first things that is often created during pre-production is something called the “emotional beat board”. The story department actually creates a graph for what they want to be the viewer’s emotional experience and each animated sequence is laid out along the graph. It may not be necessary to go to that level of detail for an online video, but it is important to make sure the pacing of the editing and the scoring or music match the wider, overall emotional arc of the audience experience.

We all know that online video can be a powerful way to reach an audience. By making ourselves aware of, and developing a sense of pacing and rhythm, we can produce captivating content that moves people to take action.

Launched in 2009 and based on Bowen Island, near Vancouver BC, Turtlebox Productions creates innovative and engaging advocacy, educational and fundraising videos for non-profits, foundations and socially responsible businesses.

Source: Nonprofit Video: How Rhythm Keeps Us Watching – http://bit.ly/pVukzA

Authors: Cam Hayduk and Kat Kelly, Turtlebox Productions

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Top Global Development NGOs on Social Media

Posted on October 5, 2011. Filed under: Power of Video, Social Media Marketing, Tips and Ideas |

This Top 10 list of development-focused NGOs on social media published on devex.com gives the NGO and NFP community an indication of the level of following that can be generated through Facebook and Twitter, and it provides a benchmark on which other organisations can base their follower goals – bearing in mind that benchmarks do not represent the upper limit of possibility, and that Facebook and Twitter followers do not represent an organisation’s complete database of supporters.

Setting goals to acheive an appropriate level of followers on social media channels is an important step in defining your social media strategy, however the more important metric is the level of engagement these followers have with your organisation. A small and highly active group of followers will mobilize your campaigns much more effectively than a large and apathetic follower base. 

The key to motivating your followers to become actively involved in supporting your cause is to ensure the content you supply through your social media channels is engaging and personal. People like people, and are more likely to become involved with your organisation if you give your posts and tweets personality.

One of the most effetive ways to demonstrate the personal nature of your cause is through video. Video is highly emotive and can effectively communicate the needs of your organisation whilst showing the personal impact the issue you are fighting is having on the lives of your beneficiaries and their communities. Video can also portray the passion your organisation’s staff and supporters have in addressing the issue and resolve it.

You may be thinking: “Our organisation is too small and we don’t have the staff or expertise to produce videos” 

Well, think about this: if you were to see a highly-produced National Geographic-esque piece with audio overlay of someone in a studio enunciating journalistic commentary and Acadamy Award-winning aerial footage, would you be thinking every dollar you gave to the cause was going to address the issue or would you be suspicious of the cost of production…I know what I’d be thinking.

The fact is gritty, hand-held, wobbly, realistic footage with impromtu commentary gives the viewer a much more emotive perspective and as long as you do a bit of editing to make the story flow, your video will be a hit and you will have won the hearts of your viewers and strengthened your relationship with them.

Now take it one step further and monetise that video content. With our video streaming platform you can earn revenue every time someone clicks to view. Pitch your campaign and website around the fact that “by viewing this video you are part of the journey and part of the solution.” 

Implement an effective social media campaign around your video content, distribute your posts, articles, email communications and SMS campaigns through CommsConsole and you will be able to see exactly the impact your video is having on engaging your audience and driving your fundraising efforts.

And, if you do need assistance to strategise, implement or analyse your social media campaigns or need some professional help to edit your raw footage, contact us and we can get you sorted. 

Kathie van Vugtirevenuestream.com

Top Global Development NGOs on Social MediaGreenpeace-Facebook

Stunning photos. Viral videos. Compelling and heartwarming stories. A play of these elements define many of the social media channels by non-governmental organizations working in international development.

And the wise use and timing of social media assets have paid off for many of these NGOs. They’ve built new relationships, deepened the involvement of supporters in their work, and even prompted changes in the practices of some global brands.

NGOs, particularly humanitarian and advocacy groups, are by far the most popular aid organizations on social media. Based on our research, the top 10 development-focused NGOs on Twitter and Facebook have followers in the hundreds of thousands at least on either platform.

The most popular development-focused NGO on Facebook is Greenpeace International. Its Brazil chapter, meanwhile, has made it to our top 10 list for Twitter. WWF, ONE, the American Red Cross and charity: water are on both lists.

Here’s our complete ranking for the top 10 development-focused NGOs on Facebook and Twitter.

Top 10 Development-focused NGOs on Social Media 

Top 10 Development-focused NGOs on Social Media

In the coming days, we will hear from social media experts from some of the organizations on our ranking. They will share their strategies, best practices and advice on how to use social media to affect change and boost international development.

Read more:

Top 10 Global Development Groups on Social Media

Social Media for Literacy: Room to Read’s Success Story

Secrets to Social Media Megasuccess: Lessons from (RED)

Candid Images, Useful Information: The UN’s Social Media Plan

Source: Top Global Development NGOs on Social Media – http://bit.ly/qR8V2e

Author: Eliza Villarino

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Use Video to Take Supporters on a Journey

Posted on September 19, 2011. Filed under: Power of Video | Tags: , , , |

Akiba - irevenuestream.comCreating relationships through video has been used effectively on some levels but I can’t help but think a key element related to fund raising possibilities has been over looked and under utililised.

Our model is based around giving the individual the power and emotion of being part of direct action.

irevenuestream.com  will be using a video platform to take supporters on a journey to help make genuine long term change by solving whatever needs your Not for Profit or NGO may have. Your supporters want to know how they can directly help your organisation. Video provides a means for you keep them right in the heart of your deepest issues and needs.

A key part of our model is giving supporters the opportunity to pay for the videos they watch which gives them the chance to be part of your solution. We are all less convinced of the desire of our polititians to make genuine long term change at the expense of losing their jobs. Individuals want the power to make a noticeable and tangible difference. Each time they watch one of your videos they will see the direct results of their financial contribution. Information, relationship building and funding in one easy video.

irevenuestream.com ” be part of the solution”

Author: Geoff Collinsonirevenuestream.com

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Historypin: A New Tool for Digital Storytelling

Posted on September 7, 2011. Filed under: Power of Video | Tags: , , , |

Amy Sample Ward is really excited by tools that enable digital or transmedia storytelling, and we agree with her that there’s huge potential for organizations to use multiple mediums, content, and locations to help document and advocate for the change people want in their communities and around the world. See Amy’s Blog for some great ideas on how to use Historypin to augment your story:

A New Tool for Digital Storytelling – http://bit.ly/mWZTip

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Show Me the World: Getting Your Org Started With Online Video

Posted on September 2, 2011. Filed under: Power of Video | Tags: , , , |

Remember, most people do not really care about your institution. They care about your work, the difference you are making in the world. That’s the story you need to tell. When you start developing your video content, planning is key. Your organization needs a communications plan and a content plan. The communications plan tells you what messages you are sending to whom, in what way, and when, usually over an annual time frame. A content plan outlines the themes of content you should be focusing on. These themes should correspond to the interest of your audience. – Michael Hoffman and Danny Alpert, See3 Communications.

This article is an expert of an article in the June 2011 issue of NTEN:Change. Show Me the World: Getting Your Org Started With Online Video – http://bit.ly/ra8YwM

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