Putting the TSNE nonprofit management videos in context
Third Sector New England’s nonprofit management videos (which are available both on TSNE’s main web site and on its vlog) have attracted a lot of favorable attention. A few folks seem to be confused about the videos’ relationship to the overall Nonprofit Management Resources project, so I have drafted a Venn diagram to assist the visual thinkers in understanding the big picture:
I’d be very interested in feedback about whether this makes the relationship between different streams of content clearer.
While I’m at it, I’d like to say a word about the collaboration that produced the first batch of videos, of which there are about 50. The original idea came out of a series of conversations between Denise Moorehead and me, and she worked very hard to refine the concept into something that was congruent with TSNE’s mission and communication strategy, and then gathered the input from (and ultimately the blessings of) the senior management team. Many of the questions were suggested by TSNE’s staff – most of them constantly receive queries about various aspects of nonprofit management, so this was our richest vein of potential material. Other questions were crowdsourced from the Mission-Based Massachusetts list; its many members enthusiastically offered suggestions.
From there, I became the video project’s Designated Worrier. We needed a crash course on vlogging, so I recruited Jenny Attiyeh of ThoughtCast, who volunteered to give us an overview of audio-video editing techniques and applications. Realizing that we needed a talented videographer, I turned to Beth Kanter, to referred us to Steve Garfield, the world’s first vlogger, who turned out to be not only local but willing to make time for us.
Our collaboration with Steve turned out to be a tremendous boon. He made great suggestions for dialing up the production values of the videos, helped the TSNE staff who were featured in them feel comfortable, and expressed a lively interest in the content. (Sometimes he came up with excellent follow-up questions for additional video segments.) I’m amazed at how much time he blocked out for us, when I recall that he had a book coming out at the same time.
The other crucial members of this collaboration were the staff of TSNE. They were the nonprofit management mavens. Most of them are consultants on tight schedules, so it wasn’t easy for them to find the time to look at their calendars, let alone commit to an hour for a video shoot. My job has been to be persistent in getting them scheduled, to be available to coach them about what to expect, to remind them about upcoming shoots, and to be extremely organized when the shoots were in progress. In much of this, Denise and Steve proved to be extremely supportive – not just in being organized, but in being flexible as the circumstances changed. I’ve heard it said that no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy, and as I little as I like martial metaphors, this one seems to be apt. In our case, the enemy was a tight schedule.
More recently, Ndlela has taken on most of the tasks of wrangling and editing the video segments, and Steve has been gracious about working with him.
It’s very helpful to me to recollect the collaborative aspect of producing content for the TSNE vlog, because we are beginning to strategize about the next cycle of video segments in the nonprofit management series. This time, we plan to solicit ideas from the two members of the TSNE staff who are regularly on duty as receptionists: Marianne Dyer and Melissa Ganley. Whenever anyone calls the main telephone number or drops by out of the blue, they are the ones who make judgement calls about which maven is best suited to handle the question. They are better positioned than anyone else in the organization to give us the raw data about what questions people out their in the world would like TSNE to answer. I’m looking forward to sitting down with them soon!