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Doing Good on TV

By Tom Watson on January 30, 2008No Comment

Doing Good on TV by Maria Nardell

From the “Facebook Generation” to Kiva.org, Dreams Across America to Project Agape, organizations large and small are using web technology as a vital part of their marketing and fundraising strategies. 

One of the more recent manifestations of this trend is DoGooderTV which provides a free online platform for nonprofits to present videos to new audiences.  Harnessing the power of music and images, film clips and graphics, DoGooderTV helps “to grow a new generation of interested, engaged and active philanthropists and volunteers using web tools that have already demonstrated tremendous power.”

Take the North Texas Food Bank.  In a 30-second spot called “Harsh Reality,” it shows a boy happily feasting on a banquet fit for a king.  Cut to a black-and-white scene of the same boy waking up from this dream of abundant food and facing reality as he gazes longingly into his empty refrigerator.  The clip ends with this reminder: “It’s your community. It’s time you noticed.”

Once site visitors see the stories, DoGooder enables them to make direct donations to the organization, as well as join, volunteer, find out more information, and connect friends with the organizations they care about.

The developer of DoGooderTV, See3 Communications, a Chicago-based company that creates visual media and internet marketing initiatives for nonprofit organizations, is co-sponsoring (with the Nonprofit Technology Network, or NTEN) the Second Annual DoGooderTV Nonprofit Video Contest.  This year’s theme is “From the Ground Up: Using Technology to Engage Constituents and Make the World a Better Place.”  Nonprofits have until February 15th to submit their entries, which can be videos, animations, or mash-ups.  Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of judges; the ten finalists will be revealed on the DoGooder Website beginning March 1st.  Visitors to the site can vote on their favorite entry; the grand prize winner will be announced at NTEN’s annual Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) in New Orleans on March 21st.   The winner will be awarded an all-expenses paid trip to the 2009 NTC in San Francisco.     

The winner of last year’s contest was the “Stop the Clash of Civilizations” video from the Avaaz Foundation, an organization which seeks to empower ordinary people around the world to influence global politics.  “Is this how you see me?” the video begins, pitting the graphic of a western woman against that of a Muslim woman in front of stereotypical images of their respective cultures.  The words “Liberated/Exploited” and “Enemy/Friend” swirl back and forth over the images, challenging the viewer to question his or her own perspective.  “Are we really all that different?” it asks, showing the commonalities of humans from different countries as they hold babies, play soccer, and grieve.

With the goal of spreading the word about creative uses of technology to bring about social change, DoGooderTV is looking for submissions from any interest area that illustrates real-life, tangible examples.     

See here for more contest details.

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