Question: Can you tell us a little bit about how this contest came about?
Answer: Capturing Change on Camera -or 501c3- is a new video project begun by The Child and Family WebGuide at Tufts University. The WebGuide is a web resource created in 2001 by faculty and students in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development at Tufts to give the public easy access to the best child development information on the Web. To date, the focus has been on research-based information about various topics pertaining to children and families.
The advent of online video over the last several years has now made it possible to include information about nonprofit organizations. Videos provide a powerful way to communicate the often under-recognized work of youth, children, and family non-profits. As a part of the Child & Family WebGuide at Tufts, 501c3 provides an incentive for the creation of videos that showcase the critical work of community organizations. All of the videos entered into the contest will be housed in a searchable online database that is easily accessible by researchers, general interest-seekers, potential volunteers and donors.
The 501c3 team is excited to be able to provide an opportunity for videographers to create mission-driven art that benefits youth, child, and family non-profits.
While initially created by faculty, both the WebGuide and the 501c3 contest are directed and staffed by students at Tufts. Students, including undergraduates and graduates in diverse fields, plan and execute all aspects of the project, from creation of the 501c3 webpage to outreach campaigns targeting filmmakers and non-profit organizations, to the selection of external judges to evaluate the videos. It is the vision, energy and commitment of students that makes 501c3 possible.
Q: Why a video contest?
A: Here at Tufts we feel that 501c3 is a unique approach to supporting the work of both non-profit organizations and creative media artists. By incentivizing the production of media that showcase youth, child, and family agencies through a contest format, 501c3 can leverage limited resources to create a large impact. Because online videos are becoming the standard medium for sharing information, it is important for organizations to have a video as part of their marketing collateral.
Producing a quality film can often be costly and is rarely a top priority for non-profit leaders. The contest format encourages filmmakers to seek out organizations and provide them with a valuable product at no cost. It also encourages organization directors to invite video savvy members of their staff to create a video about the organization. With charitable contributions decreasing, nonprofits must find new ways to support their causes and be discovered by prospective donors.
Q: Can you share a few inspiring videos that our readers should watch?
A: We had a number of great submissions over the past month. Videos will be scored in four categories (Clarity of Mission, Motivation, Overall Impact, and Technical Merit) and winners will be selected on February 15th. The grand prize is a $3,000 award split between the non-profit organization and the filmmaker.
Here are a few the ones that caught the 501c3 staff's attention:
Nourishing NYC is a nonprofit out of East Harlem that has junior chefs prepare healthy Thanksgiving meals for low-income families in Manhattan's most diabetic district.
Operation Breaking StereoTypes
Operation Breaking Stereotypes is an organization devoted to facilitating exchanges between diverse groups of students in New York City and Maine.
Camp Ten Trees: Social Justice in the Making
Camp Ten Trees creates a loving and engaging youth camp environment for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, transsexual, queer) youth and their families.
Q: What have the nonprofits been saying about the videos created for them?
A: The undergraduates and graduates at Tufts that make 501c3 possible have heard nothing but positive feedback from the nonprofits about the contest. As we move forward we will be thinking of interesting twists to the project and new ways to provide exposure for the organizations and films.