How Nonprofits Can Use Media Libraries for Visual Storytelling

Nonprofits that tell compelling visual stories forge emotional connections with stakeholders, which help them grow donor bases, build thriving memberships and fulfill their missions. Yet there are obstacles that can stop visual storytelling in its tracks, especially as a nonprofit begins to scale. Fortunately, a strong media library like Flight by Canto can remove these obstacles, helping you tell your nonprofit’s story with power and ease.

What is a Visual Story

A visual story is a narrative that arcs across videos, images and illustrations, sometimes with music and audio. It might take the form of that coveted 2-3 minute explainer video, but your story is also communicated through every visual contact you make with stakeholders. This could start with simple graphics in an email campaign, continue to your website with a mix of images and video and then progress to a downloaded case study with illustrations. Each of these touchpoints is building your story – creating suspense and resolving conflicts in the stakeholder’s mind. The more focused and consistent your branding and marketing elements – such as your logos, event photography, illustration style and so forth – the stronger your story’s potential to emotionally resonate, and thereby make your nonprofit memorable across both hearts and minds.

Media Libraries Help Organize Story Elements

Media libraries like Flight aren’t storytellers in and of themselves, of course, but they do help you organize and discover the right pieces of your nonprofit’s story. Flight, for instance, supplies your team a central, shared space where visual assets appear in gallery style format – so that you can easily overview brand creative. You can also organize this creative into folders and albums, and use keywords and tags to identify assets. All of this can be searched, against asset metadata.

Imagine, for instance, you want to tell the story of your annual fundraiser – you could create a folder with one album containing event photography, another with promo materials, and so forth. You could add descriptive keywords or freeform tag photos, so that when you search Flight for “Annual Gala 2017” all photos from that gala are returned. You can also relate assets so that photos in a series – like from an awards ceremony – are treated as a family, and you can see these related assets as a filmstrip in preview mode.

Media Libraries Help Keep Stories Straight

You’ve probably played the game of telephone at some point. You tell one person one thing, who tells another, who tells another, and soon enough the story you started with transforms into something entirely different. This same dynamic can happen in visual storytelling, too, if your nonprofit doesn’t work from a single source of branding truth.

Often what happens in visual storytelling is your story starts to get out of whack by branching into different versions. Outdated logos or campaign elements get mixed in with new campaigns, and pretty soon an otherwise carefully crafted story arc gets fuzzy, and confusing. A media library like Flight will actually keep a stacked record of visual asset versions, with the latest and greatest on top. This may sound simple, but it helps you maintain straight story flow, by archiving old assets and thereby helping team members to refrain from mixing and matching the wrong brand elements. No more dead end branches to your brand story as you continuously communicate new impacts and successes.

Media Libraries Can Deliver Special Chapters

Sometimes a nonprofit may wish to share certain assets with only a select audience, like donors. Flight portals empower you to create both private and public spaces where these select audiences can review and download assets intended for them. If the audience is small – like for select donors to review documents – the portal can remain private. However, if it is large – maybe for event photos – the portal can be made public (but won’t be indexed by google). You can also now customize portal landing pages in Flight, which further enhances your ability to organize and distribute assets to those select audiences, whether donors, event staff or volunteers, you name it.

Give Flight a Try

We’re excited for your nonprofit to tell its story and make a difference, and invite you to check out our Flight Media Library for Schools and Nonprofits program. It’s available to qualified schools and nonprofits, and provides discounted pricing on Flight Team and Flight Pro packages. Happy storytelling!

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