You don't need an excuse to tell a great story

User .John Cochrane
Posted Date : August 6, 2014

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You don’t need an excuse to tell a great story.

You simply need a great story.

And every community foundation has a great story to tell. Whether your foundation is large or tiny, or is located in a big city or a small town, it likely has a powerful story of how it is improving its community and enriching lives.

But if you are still looking for an excuse, here’s one: this year marks the 100th anniversary of community foundations.

And here’s another: if you tell your story on video, you have an opportunity to win up to $15,000 from the Council on Foundations for your organization through our #CF100 video contest.

To help you prepare for the contest, we’ve gotten some help from our colleagues at the Poynter Institute, who have produced this excellent webinar on how to produce effective videos on a budget.

And to provide you with some inspiration, I’ve also reached out to some of our community foundations members, who have gladly shared examples of videos they have produced for their communities.

When the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, in Michigan, wanted to inspire residents in its community to consider how much impact they could have in their community if they contributed even a small portion of their wealth, it created this video.

Mary Jo Herbig, the foundation’s director of communications, says the video has been a hit.

“The transfer of wealth number for Genesee County, Michigan … which we broke down to a 25-year horizon … is $20 billion,” she says. “Sharing that and knowing what a difference just 5% can make … well, we hope will create a call to action.”

The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, in Iowa, was able to produce a series of videos for its annual luncheon by working with students at nearby Drake University, who produced the spots as part of their senior project.

“It was a great opportunity for the students to gain real world experience and valuable community connections,” says Sara Bonney, the foundation’s director of marketing and communications. “It provided the opportunity for us to highlight our work at no cost and we have been able to use the videos in a variety of ways even after the luncheon.”

Here are some other examples of videos created by community foundation members.

The Arizona Community Foundation, for instance, developed this video for its 35th anniversary.

And finally, the Community Foundations of Canada produced this awesome, 30-second spot on the power of community foundations:

What are some of your favorite examples of effective video storytelling? You don’t have to provide examples strictly from community foundations, but I hope you’ll share some examples by posting a comment below.

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