Values in Motion. Literally.
This week The Winston-Salem Foundation released its 2010 Report to the Community/2009 Annual Report. The annual report is a significant communications piece for the Foundation—a tool used to tell the stories of generous donors and the grantees and students who have been touched by the community’s goodwill.
Early on we recommended to the Foundation that they use their annual report not only to tell the stories of the community, but also to tell their story. We observed that many nonprofits spend considerable dollars on their annual report yet messaging often changes from year to year or fails to build on core themes of previous years. For The Winston-Salem Foundation, the core values of generosity, integrity, excellence and inclusion drive the work they do. And so, for the last six years, we have been very intentional about leveraging those values in the annual report.
In recent years, the Foundation has uploaded their annual report to a service calledissuu. In a gesture of fiscal and environmental responsibility, the Foundation reduced the number of printed copies of the report with little or no consequence (they continue to mail the report to some audiences and to individuals who request a hard copy).
This year marked the Foundation’s 90th anniversary. Their annual Community Meeting was an opportunity for the Foundation to share eight video stories of donors, grantees and Foundation initiatives in celebration of this community milestone. We worked with the Foundation and Swiftwater Media to interview and edit the short videos.
As we planned this year’s annual report, we decided to integrate the video stories shared at the Community Meeting with the written stories in the report. We partnered with the Boston-based company Zmags and the result is here.
It’s easy to get lost in the quagmire of the newest and shiniest digital advances. And while embedding video in online publications is not new or rocket science, it seemed like the right move for the Foundation for so many reasons.
In this case technology intervened to tell the story of our community and the Foundation in a fresh, new way. The added benefit of a service like Zmags is it provides metrics on readership and page involvement/interaction—telling us which pages, sections and links receive the most activity.
If you’ve used these services before, we’re curious about your experiences with them. And if you’re interested in adding this feature to your own communications efforts, we’d love to hear from you.
Mary Jamis is the director of business development for M Creative.