Lunchtime Links: A Nonprofit’s Powerful Video Message

How one religious nonprofit group found the perfect way to push its message this Veterans Day. Also: The magic hiding underneath a tweet.

How the nonprofit Dégagé Ministries condensed its message into one engrossing three-minute video. Also: the magic hiding in a tweet.

Finding a strong hook for a video message can be a challenge. Some organizations will spend years trying to craft a message that truly resonates.

But when you find it, everyone who sees the video knows you succeeded.

An example of an amazing nonprofit video pitch in today’s Lunchtime Links:

A powerful Veterans Day ad: The Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Dégagé Ministries, a religious nonprofit that helps the homeless rebuild their lives, may have created the season’s most effective viral video in the clip above, which shows the physical transformation of U.S. Army veteran Jim Wolf—a man who, the video tells us, has struggled with poverty and alcoholism for decades. As The Daily Dot notes, Dégagé worked with viral video expert and Washington Times columnist Rob Bliss to create a video that exemplifies the group’s efforts to improve the lives of the people it works with. The visual effect is startling, and as the video notes, the effects go beyond that for Wolf. It’s an inspiring example of how video can push forward a message.

What makes a tweet special: Yesterday, Twitter scored a successful initial public offering on the stock market, jumping 73 percent from its IPO price of $26 per share and making numerous millionaires and billionaires in the process. You may be wondering what the big deal is—it’s just 140 characters, after all—but tweets are extremely sophisticated, writes Bloomberg Businessweek contributor Paul Ford. “You know how the National Security Agency collects ‘metadata’ about the phone calls Americans make? Well, that’s what these fields are, except instead of metadata about phone calls, this is metadata about tweets,” Ford writes, explaining “the guts of a tweet.” “In fact, those 140 characters are less than 10 percent of all the data you’ll find in a tweet object.” That extra information helps structure that tweet, making it easier to spread and offering details you might not even think of. And because it’s shared using a publicly accessible API, anyone can analyze one. Pretty cool, huh?

A tip from Tip: “Tip was the speaker of the United States House of Representatives for 10 years. But more critically, Tip was like a walking fortune cookie of good political aphorisms.” That’s the take from Virtual, Inc.’s Andy Freed on one of the most notable political leaders of the past 50 years, the late Rep. Tip O’Neill (D-MA). Freed notes that O’Neill’s success may have been rooted in his way of explaining things. “On Election Day mornings, Tip used to always ask his wife, Millie, for her vote,” Freed notes. “He believed you had to ‘ask for every vote.’ I love that—many associations just send renewal notices. But do they ever ‘ask for the vote’ and explicitly ask their members to renew? Many don’t.”

What’s on your radar today? Tell us all about it in the comments.

(Youtube screenshot)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!