Positive Marketing Works for Nonprofits

Step it Up NYC, NYC, Rockaway, Rok Nation
Noah Yuan-Vogel plays back a video clip for dancers in the Step it Up NYC dance, step and service competition in Far Rockaway.

Our team often gets asked why we are so relentlessly positive. A big part of it is a very serious glass-half-full vision of the world. Things can get better, they will get better, if we just work together.

But personality isn’t everything. Statistics show that positive marketing is a better long-term strategy for increasing fundraising and support for social good causes.

The New York Times interviewed two social scientists from the UK about nonprofit marketing.

The researchers, the wife-and-husband team of Jennifer van Heerde-Hudson and David Hudson, had spent years studying the ways charities solicited donations. Conventional wisdom held that the most effective appeals emphasized innocent victims.”

Contrary to that belief, Heerde-Hudson and Hudson revealed in their research, “If you can trigger a sense of hope, donations go up.’’

We walk the walk here at Show the Good. We are 100% focused on the inspiration and hope that your mission can bring to potential donors, partners and constituents.

Get in touch if you’d like to see how our storytelling vision can help spread the word about your mission.

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feminism, feminist documentary, women in film, gender equality

The Ladyparts Film Launch Party!

Thanks to everyone who came out last month to help us launch Ladyparts, a film about the secrets society keeps that contribute to gender inequality. Thanks to the crowd that gathered at No. 7 Restaurant, we passed our first week funding goal and can get to work filming the first few interviews.

For those of you who weren’t able to join, Ladyparts will explore the subversive messages, unspoken stereotypes, societal taboos, design omissions and legislative failures that contribute to gender equality here in the United States. The film will be funny, irreverent, shocking, approachable, educational and full of actions you can take to make a difference.

Flip through some photos from the launch below!

Ladyparts Launch Party 2017

We have a few specific requests from anyone looking to support this venture! First, you can donate to the project directly via this link to our Paypal account. Any amount small or large is welcome and much appreciated!

Secondarily, we are looking for ideas and inspiration! Please shoot Brit a note via our Show the Good contact form if you want us to dig into a secret you’ve heard about.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we need connections to people who could be interviewed for the film! Elected officials, celebrity activists, female comedians, academics and researchers will make up the majority of the final documentary. If you know someone who just must be involved let us know. Your connections are worth significantly more than gold.

Now is the time to have this conversation and we want you to be a part of it! So follow us @ladypartsfilm on Instagram and Twitter to stay involved. Even better, sign up for our newsletter and we’ll keep you updated monthly!

Saving Lives With Unused Diabetes Supplies

We are infinitely excited to share the debut of our film for Insulin for Life USA. We spent time in the spring of 2017 traveling the world to visit the physicians, healthcare workers and generous donors who help make their mission possible.

You can watch the film here. Visit their site to learn how to donate your unused, in-date diabetes supplies and insulin.

ENERGIA’s Mission Inspires Us to Animate

We’ve been working with the ENERGIA team since 2015 on various projects relating to their work with the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SEforALL). In the fall of 2016, they came to us with a new request – how could they tell their story through video while being inclusive of the diverse geographies where their grantees work?

Animation of course!

We asked our talented illustrator, Cara Willenbrock, to come up with the designs for the piece, culled ENERGIA’s photo archive for the best images of their work and then set to work bringing it to life. Topping off this super fun video is a beautiful voice over from Rahab Wanja, who was kind enough to record and re-record until we got everything just right.

Voila, an inclusive video featuring inspiring images from around the world and educating the viewer on the complexities of the ENERGIA mission.

Youth Using Art to Make a Difference in NYC

Step it Up NYC 2017 - Video Series

In this tumultuous time in our country, when it seems like everyone is at odds – and you’re the odd one out if you don’t pick sides – it is inspiring to see a new generation working together to make a difference. That is what the Step it Up NYC competition is all about. Dance and step teams from across the city enter the competition with a cause and throughout the competition their cause becomes the focus of a service project. Once they’ve reached the semifinals and through the end of the competition, almost half their score comes from the inventiveness and energy they put into that service project. By the time the finals roll around, the teams have made a real difference in their communities.

When we created the main competition video for 2017, we wanted this togetherness to be the message that came across. Watch “Together We Are Stronger” below.

This year Left Our Mark took home the senior division prize, raising awareness about police and community relations while showcasing a routine that was eclectic in it’s style. Watch their competition video below.

The Storming Steppers from NIA New Voices made history by being the first all-girls team to win two season in a row. Their step was sharp and confident as always as they spoke to the audience about female empowerment and financial literacy. Watch the ladies’ competition video below.

There were so many incredible teams this year, we can’t imagine the difficult job the judges had! Here’s to hoping we get to work on this project forever, it is certainly one of our favorites.

Watch all of the videos in the playlist below.

Bringing Gender into the Energy Access Conversation

In the past year, we’ve had the good fortune of working with two incredible organizations dedicated to expanding energy access – Solar Sister and ENERGIA. Solar Sister helps empower women in Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria to become solar entrepreneurs, selling home solar products to their communities – most of which lack access to the electrical grid. ENERGIA is an advocacy organization, dedicated to ensuring that gender issues stay central to the energy access conversation. We like to talk about our work at every chance we get and lately we’ve been getting one question a lot – why women and energy?

Access to energy is a key building block for reducing poverty, improving health outcomes, increasing security and eliminating discrimination. Access to a solar light can mean a craftsman can create their goods long after the sun goes down without risk of fire, exposure to toxins and the high price of burning kerosene gas. Access to a portable solar lamp can mean a midwife in rural Africa can deliver a baby during the nighttime while actually seeing what she’s doing – reducing the risk of errors and allowing her to correctly diagnose any problems along the way. A cleaner cooking stove can mean that women no longer run the risk of poisoning their children with the fumes of burning animal waste when they make meals. The savings from all of the above can help bolster a family, provide a source of savings (from not buying kerosene and charcoal many times a week) and allow them to save for school fees or unforeseen financial difficulties.

A visit to the Solar Sister Entrepreneurs in northern Uganda in 2014.
A visit to the Solar Sister Entrepreneurs in northern Uganda in 2014.

One in five people around the world doesn’t have access to electricity. Three billion people lack access to sustainable energy and still use wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating. Energy is a building block on which sustainable development can grow.

In the developing world, women are often the main users of energy. They cook, they manage household finances, they pay for children’s school fees and supervise their studies at night. They ration bottles of kerosene and ensure the family isn’t burning too much money away with each lantern lit. With women as the main energy users, it only makes sense to integrate them into the energy conversation. It makes sense to have them help create solutions and explain those solutions to the other energy users in their communities. This is important because it helps speed the adoption of new technologies and ensures that women don’t get left behind as energy access expands.

Sustainable development means that all parts of a community rise together on a tide. Not including energy access into the development conversation is a nonstarter – you won’t get anywhere without access to energy. Not integrating women into that energy access conversation has a different result. It allows communities to move ahead while leaving women behind, tied to solutions which don’t work for their lives.

A visit to the Solar Sister Entrepreneurs in northern Tanzania in 2015 for the WE:Shine Campaign.
A visit to the Solar Sister Entrepreneurs in northern Tanzania in 2015 for the WE:Shine Campaign.

Bringing gender into the energy conversation and empowering women to become energy practitioners, advocates and entrepreneurs ensures they make it onto the boat so we can all rise on the tide together.

To learn more about Solar Sister click here. To learn more about ENERGIA click here. For more information about energy access and development, visit the SE4ALL website.

Partnering With the Sun in Tanzania: A Solar Sister Video Project

We’ve been on the road with Solar Sister in Tanzania for the past week and a half documenting the lives of some very special female solar entrepreneurs. We’re excited about the fruits of our travels, a series of videos about these incredible women and their efforts to make their communities brighter, stronger and more prosperous.

We’ll be releasing the resulting videos starting in the fall — six pieces in all. With a little help from the online community, we’re hoping their stories will help to educate people around the world about how renewable energy can bring impacts beyond light to communities in the developing world.

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter (both @showthegood) to see our travels in real time and stay tuned here for the eventual release of the series. We’re excited to share these beautiful stories with you!

More about Solar Sister

watch the video we created for Solar Sister in 2014 for the 10th annual Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

Photographing Hillary for America in New York City

Sometimes you get a call for an event that you just can’t turn down. Earlier this month, Barbara Kinney called to ask me to help photograph the official Hillary Clinton presidential campaign launch rally on Roosevelt Island in New York City. I said yes, of course, where shall I meet you?

The day ended up being absolutely lovely and the event was full of excitement. I’m so glad to share with you my official photos from that day, now up on the Hillary for America Flickr page.

June 13, 2015 - Roosevelt Island, New York City
June 13, 2015 – Roosevelt Island, New York City

See a selection of the photos here.

The New Frontier of Education: NC3

The education system in the United States is at a critical juncture. With some parts of the college-educated workforce unfit for the jobs they are hoping to fill and some industries lacking the number of candidates they need, people across the country are studying how to fix the myriad of issues the system faces. Not the least of which is the crushing student loan debt that many graduates are forced to bear.

Amidst all of the tumult there are a few pioneering organizations who have already solved some of these issues. One of those organizations is the National Coalition of Certification Centers, or NC3. We were asked to join them back in January to help tell the story of their industry-certified, stackable certificate model for community colleges across the country.

The NC3 Train the Trainer 13 event was held at West-MEC in Phoenix Arizona in January 2015.
The NC3 Train the Trainer 13 event was held at West-MEC in Phoenix Arizona in January 2015.

NC3 has set up a model where companies in the aviation, transportation, energy and horticulture sectors can partner with community college faculty members to create certification courses specific to jobs in their industries. These courses cover science behind Torque, high precision wheel servicing, advanced automotive diagnostic tools, HVAC installation and repair and more. Once the courses are locked down, NC3 trains community college instructors from across the country to administer these courses to their students. The instructors are then able to certify their students free of charge in these “stackable” certificates. Students can be certified in multiple tasks and then take those certificates potential employers as proof that they are capable of doing the job that they are applying for.

The NC3 Train-the-Trainer event is at the heart of this model. The teachers become the students. They learn, they explore and they study, knowing they’ll return to their classrooms to help their students onto a path to better employment. Watch the video above to see the power behind NC3’s efficient and thoughtful model.

Learn more about NC3 here.

Social Media Week – Storytelling Workshop

I was super excited when Matt Bishop of iGiveMore invited me to speak at his Social Media Week workshop this past Tuesday. The session was called “How to Tell Stories that Drive Action” and the discussion topic was obviously right up my alley.

I was tasked with telling the audience gathered (who worked in nonprofit and for profit organizations) about the process of making videos – in 10 minutes or less. It was a great way to hone our overall ideas. I had to simplify the larger, more complex workshops we normally do into a shorter amount of time. It’s almost like distilling a lengthy pitch into a simple powerpoint deck. What is the most essential information?

We started with the example of one of our all time favorite commercials and moved through a series of simplified steps one should think about during the video production process. Then we ended with the list of questions everyone should ask themselves when they are making a video:

  • Does this video help us reach our goals?
  • Is anything distracting?
  • Does it make sense? (Believe us, this might be intuitive, but it isn’t)
  • If I didn’t work here, would I want to watch this?
  • Does it make the viewer feel what I want them to feel?

My little chat was received well (lots of note taking was observed) and in the process we met some really incredible people who live and work in New York.

Excited for our next speaking opportunity. Like always, this one was a blast.