Video is quickly becoming one of the most dominant forms of content on the web. It drives more engagement than other content types like text or photos. Video can have a tremendous impact on a social cause or an idea, because it allows people to be visually and emotionally immersed. This can create or strengthen a relationship with your audience because they can actually see it or be part of that perspective. Which is why social media, like Facebook and Twitter are rapidly developing platforms that make video content more engaging.
But nonprofits are still reluctant to make major investments in video. Many believe they do not have the capacity or financial resources to make a great video for their cause, so they simply ignore the medium.
Because video can create a powerful impact, See3 created the DoGooder Awards, an annual celebration of nonprofits and social causes who make great video. The DoGooder Awards winners and nominees showcased the brilliant impact video has on their social causes through humor, emotion and visual storytelling. This, in turn, brought more awareness for each organization, by building connections with a larger audience and driving more people to action.
In its 9th year, the DoGooder Awards were able to create a platform for people to see how others are successfully using video -- bringing in over 20,000 votes, with submissions from all over the world for each category -- Best Nonprofit Video, ImpactX, DoGooder YouTube Creator for Good and Funny For Good.
The winner of the Funny for Good Award, Unbound's "Between Two Furnaces: Episode 1," used humor to get a look into the good work Unbound has and is doing globally. Rather than having people read about their organization, Unbound created a connection, letting viewers get a one-on-one conversation with Paul Pearce, Unbound's Director of Global Strategy and getting them to laugh. This homage of "Between Two Ferns" with Zach Galifinakis was able to bring light to this international non-profit organization in an entertaining way, which continues to challenge poverty in new and innovative ways to help families and children in need. Runner-ups of this category also include the American Heart Association, The Humane Society of the United States and Teach For America.
ImpactX winner, The Fund for Modern Courts' "Now is the Time for More Family Court Judges in NYS" undoubtedly connected people to a cause and moved them to act. Through this video, a bill passed that ended 23 years without new judges, bringing in 25 new family court judgeships, as well as $20 million in the budget for New York State in 2014. This change allows the justice system to resolve domestic violence, child welfare, custody cases and juvenile cases in a timelier manner. Without this video, the bill may have not passed; important decision makers may have never realized the importance of more family judges until they were immersed into the cause visually and emotionally. The Fund of Modern Courts realized this and successfully brought awareness to the only organization in New York that is exclusively working to improve the judicial system and fighting to provide equal access to justice for all New Yorkers since 1955.
YouTube has also become a powerful platform of video, and Tyler Oakley, the winner of the DoGooder YouTube Creator for Good is a good example of that. Each video on his YouTube account have connected with over 6 million people, building a very personal and major following of Tyler Oakley fans. Tyler activated that passionate fan base to help support the LGBT community, and in turn raised awareness and over $500,000 for The Trevor Project, a leading organization that provides crisis and suicide prevention for LGBT youth. Runner-ups include fellow YouTube Creators -- Felix Kjellberg, John and Hank Green, Hannah Hart, Connor Franta, Jack and Finn Harries, Laci Green, Franchesca Ramsey and the Fine Brothers.
Best Non-Profit Video Winner, Cystic Fibrosis Trusts' "The Breath Before" showed the realities of living with cystic fibrosis, so beautifully and with such an emotional pull that most people couldn't help but shed a few tears while watching it, including myself. This video did an incredible job at allowing viewers to put themselves in the shoes of someone struggling with cystic fibrosis. Within less than three minutes, we went on a life-long journey that unites people together to finally beat cystic fibrosis for good. The producers of the video, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, is a national charity in the UK who have built 51 years of extensive research on CF, and are providing support to those who are living with the disease. Runner-ups include the Syrian Civil Defense Fund, Wikimedia Foundation and Engender Health.
The winners of the 2015 DoGooder Awards are prime examples of the power of video. Each video added a face, an emotion and a visual story to the social cause that allowed viewers to connect to it on a deeper level, rather than just reading text on screen. This connection then helped drive people to action -- getting bills passed, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars, spreading the word and much more.
Nonprofits need to focus on video. Whether or not they have the talent or financial pull is a problem that needs to change. The Internet and the way we get our information are constantly evolving, but video is still going to be the dominant content within it. Let your nonprofit be known, let all the important work and social good you do, be told and let millions of others be part of it by investing in the power of video.