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Expert Advice: Amanda Buenz Makulec on Volunteer-Led Video Projects

We met Powerhouse Volunteer Amanda Buenz Makulec at the UN Foundation/Mashable Social Good Summit.  She was buzzing with energy, wearing many hats as a Monitoring and Evaluations Associate at John Snow Inc and as Washington DC Regional Director (a volunteer position) for One Home Many Hopes, which builds homes for orphaned girls in Kenya.  Amanda helped spearhead the creation of her organization's first video, and her experience is especially relevant for organizations that rely on volunteers for fundraising, outreach and communications.

Lessons learned from her efforts:

-Try to locate a volunteer videographer to create your organization's main "about us" video.  It often is a "win-win" for both you and the videographer, as your video could be a great portfolio-builder, especially for someone just starting out on his/her career.  Side note: try contacting local film schools to see if they have a community service program for their students, or just do a Google search for local videographers and ask if they would consider volunteering their time and/or equipment.

-Make sure key members of your organization meet at the onset of your video project to clarify your objectives, especially to determine what your main message or messages should be.  Who are you trying to reach?  What impression would you like them to have about your mission and operation?  What do you do that could be conveyed through images and audio?

-Determine at the outset how video fits into your long-term communications planning as well, especially how frequently you should be creating videos, taking into account your activities, objectives, and resources.  Distribution should be discussed as well, but that's a topic for another post....

Here is the video One Home Many Hopes placed on Vimeo:

One Home Many Hopes | Be Unreasonable from Firefly Imageworks on Vimeo.

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