mihaal ・ danziger

Top 10 Videos for Social Good

Here is Mashable’s pick of some of the best youtube videos for social good



Film for Social Change

‘Reel’ Stories: Film as a tool for social change

“The films function as advocacy tools and the basis of discussion about real issues both within communities and with power-holders who have the ability to address the problems examined.”



Film for Social Change

Make your own Whiteboard Animation promo

The internet is full of amazing tutorials to help with DIY filmmaking. Here’s an especially useful guide on how to make your very own whiteboard animation video!


Film for Social Change

How to make your own charity video, and make it well.

Let’s face it, very few nonprofits actually have a decent budget set aside for promotion and marketing. If your charity lacks the funds to commission a professional, SLEEK looking promotion film- this piece of advise is for you.


Going DIY is perfectly achievable these days, with smart phones, cheap digital camcorders, open source editing programs, and plenty of advise on the web. But here are some of the common mistakes you want to avoid:

The most common mistake with low-budget / no-budget promos is that they are too LONG.

If it’s 5 minutes, it’s too long. If it’s not a uniquely compelling story of a personal nature- 3 minutes is too long. And if it’s too long, the viewers will not stick around for the bottom line.

A rough guideline would be: 2 minutes or under for an “explainer video”, and 4 minutes or under for a personal-journey-type video.

The second most common mistake in the low-budget promo making is aiming for TOO MUCH.

If funds are short, less is better. The more you try and achieve with a tight budget, the worse quality you will get. If you have zero budget, try just interviewing one person to get one strong story.

Don’t forget the sound!!  The quality of sound you record can make it or break it. Most smartphones will give you a decent shot, but your video will be un-usable if you’re not careful about recording in a quiet space, or with a microphone close to the subject (even a separate smartphone can act as a microphone!)

And remember, editing is where the magic happens.

Using exactly the same pool of footage, one can end up with a poor looking video, or with a highly engaging one, depending vastly on the skills of the editor.

So if you are going to invest in just one thing for your video, invest in a professional editor. 

Into Darfour by Oxfam, is a video that could well have been put together using solely pre-existing footage and selfie-videos, but it’s been put together wisely, with engaging authenticity.

Film for Social Change

Get Your Charity Promo to go Viral

Have you thought about raising awareness for your charity by making a video – and getting it to go viral? Here’s a great article on how to!


Perils of Press: nonprofits in the media

Any press is good press? Well yes… and no. The world of jounralistic reporting can be a jungle of stereotypes and disempowering representations. Here’s how to avoid the common pitfalls.


We’ve all seen these videos:

An image of a person in a vulnerable situation, a patronising voice-over narrating the story of “this destitute person”, a gloomy environment serves as the backdrop….

The news is saturated with articles that misrepresent the very people who’s stories they tell. When your life’s work is reduced to a dramatic, schematic stereotype- it can be very unsettling.

I’ve heard stories of jounralists taking interviewees at a homeless shelter to a back alleyway with rubbish bins in order to achieve a certain “dodgy” look. They even asked them to wear their hoodies.

The result, needless to say, expresses very little about your work of rebuilding lives and empowering people.

BUT. Your organisation needs the exposure, so if an opportunity to interview comes along, you need to grab it!

You just need to be smart about it.

Understand that no matter how understanding the journalist is, they will have little say on the final composed piece. Usually they are not even present in the editing room. The person who will put it all together is someone you will never meet, who’s objective is to make a “sell-able” item.

This means you have one chance at exerting your control, and that’s during the interview.  Use your authority then to decide what you allow and not allow to be filmed.

What is being filmed?

Ask to see the interviewers questions and be present at all stages.

Where is it being filmed?

Be aware of the location and backdrop chosen for the piece.

How is it being filmed?

Is the camera looking up at the subject or down on them? This is how the viewer will be looking at them too.

And on a side note, in this digital age of facebook-youtube-twitter, identifying a vulnerable young person can have a devastating social impact. Make sure identities are only exposed when it’s appropriate, and when the participant fully understands the implications.

Film for Social Change

Seven Components of Great Charity Videos

Some top tips on what makes a charity video stand out



Why Personal Stories Trump Numbers

“Even though we push for statistical information to demonstrate to the public the net effect of what works… we still need to keep the message centered around human beings. Without a human story, our ability to empathise and understand is severely hampered”



Film for Social Change

Participatory video and Social Impact Assesmet

“data – statistics, charts, graphs and maps – is often so far removed from the people it evaluates that the human element can be lost. Participatory video (PV) is an effective tool that reconnects the dots between the data that our clients want and the individuals, communities and systems they’re trying to impact.”



Film for Social Change