Established in 1992 by a group of Czech war correspondents, People in Need is a nonprofit organization that provides humanitarian aid to catastrophe victims and those living in countries with authoritarian regimes. They establish programs to help people in local communities gain fundamental human rights, combat poverty and increase access to education. Based in Prague, they operate in 30 countries around the world.
Jaromir Mara, People in Need’s web project manager, and Tomas Urban, People in Need’s media department head, work together to create the organization’s messaging. Jaromir coordinates various projects, while Tomas leads the communication teams scattered around the globe.
Before Canto, People in Need tried to centralize their digital assets in free solutions like Google Drive. Their content ended up being dispersed throughout the organization – on SharePoint, OneDrive, internal servers and individual computers. “Different branches and sections of the organization work with content in different ways, so we didn’t have one place to store photos,” says Tomas.
Now more than ever, People in Need’s whole content library needs to be accessible for their global workforce. The pressure toward nonprofit organizations in Eastern Europe is growing, says Jaromir, so it’s essential that everyone has quick access to the archives to show the organization’s impact.
Everyone in the organization agreed they needed a central, easy way to find assets, so Tomas tasked Jaromir with leading the search for a digital asset management tool. Jaromir conducted research within the organization to learn what the team needed and tested a few different solutions before choosing Canto to present to the head of the organization and the board.
“We chose Canto because it met the needs of our colleagues, it met our budget and it allowed us to organize and customize for our use case,” says Jaromir.
People in Need now stores its archive of over 330,000 photos and videos in Canto. The humanitarian aid and development department, the organization’s largest, was the first to implement Canto. This department has communication officers who are responsible for all internal and external communications regarding their specific country programs.
Communication officers receive photos from local photographers, then upload them to Canto via country-specific upload links. From there, they add required metadata and send the content to the content manager at the headquarters in Prague.
The content manager approves the photos and creates an album for the program, then adds the album to the appropriate department and country folders. Afterwards, he notifies the communication officers their content is ready to be accessed.
It’s important for the communication officers to add metadata, like tags and file size, to the new content so others in the organization can easily find what they need for their messaging.
“A completely different department may create some leaflets two months after the content is uploaded,” says Jaromir. “They can search content with specific tags or quality and easily find the image they need. And then comes the important part of security and copyright issues.”
People in Need has a strict consent policy to ensure the content they’re sharing is approved by the person or people in the photo. Canto enables them to make this information readily available. “We have a sentence in the copyright section whether the content is free to use or whether it requires consent,” Jaromir says.
Since centralizing their content in Canto, the People in Need team has on-demand access to content that shows the impact their programs have on local communities.
“We have to do a lot of project documentation,” says Jaromir. “We really need to communicate our work with the public because we need to show that we’re really doing the things we say we do.”
Canto helps People in Need store and find ready-to-use assets that tell the story of transformed lives.
Jaromir says, “Thanks to Canto, the team uses much less energy to manage, upload and share content. It’s easy for us to maintain the content and not lose the context of it. We always know who created it and why.”