One Word: Streamline
Recently, my colleagues at Big Duck and I met with Michael Hoffman, CEO of See3, a firm using video, audio and photography to help nonprofits create deeper relationships.
“The Web is a dynamic place,” he told us, “but many organizations still build sites as if they were brochures.”
He went on to describe a future in which video and audio — not static HTML — will be the primary content on nonprofit Web sites. With politicians such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton announcing their presidential candidacies in online videos, I think Michael might be on to something.
The Web site I’m looking at this month is interested in leveraging media, too. The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF.net) uses media aggressively to engage visitors on its home page. Clips featuring former President Jimmy Carter and a segment from “NBC Nightly News” are featured prominently above the fold, along with a quote by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (R.-Calif.), excerpts from several prominent newspapers, and some very grim photographs of sick and injured kids helped by the organization.
Visitors to the site can read more than a dozen program-related news stories, sponsor runners for a fundraiser and buy DVDs from the home page, too.
While it’s great that the organization has video, it might be presented better. Right now, the video opens up in a blank page using QuickTime, but free programs such as VideoEgg can, for instance, embed the video presentation within the content of the site, instead. Using a program like VideoEgg would make it easy for others to copy the HTML needed to stream PCRF’s videos from their sites or blogs. PCRF also could get more mileage out of its videos by posting them on distribution networks such as YouTube and DoGooderTV. (I noticed only two PCRF videos on YouTube.)
Sarah Durham is president of Big Duck, a New York City-based branding, marketing and fundraising firm for nonprofits. She serves on the boards of the National Brain Tumor Society and the New York Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).