Animoto is a service that allows you to create videos about your nonprofit using a selection of your organization’s best photos. Within a few minutes and a couple of clicks, your nonprofit could have a new promotional video that you can use on your Web site, your Blog, in your e-mail newsletters, and on social networking sites. An Animoto video created by the American Cancer Society is good example of how photos, music, and simple text can tell a story and convey a message of gratitude to donors and supporters:
The first step is to create an account. Then click “Create Video” and upload 15 photos for a 30-second video. Then choose a song from Animoto’s music gallery and finally click “Create Video”. That’s it! Animoto automatically then creates a slideshow of your photos synchronized to the tempo of the music you have chosen. You can also embed text in your Animotos videos. To prove how easy Animoto is to use, as I was writing this blog post I created a video about our new kittens that can be viewed on my Animoto profile:
A couple of things to notice:
1) People can “Share” your videos on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and via E-mail with one-click. People can also copy and paste embed code for the video allowing them or you to post the video essentially anywhere on the Web.
2) People can leave comments.
3) You can see how many people have viewed the video.
There are all kinds of ways your nonprofit could use Animoto videos: an overview of your organization’s mission, your annual gala, for the launch of a new program, featuring staff at work in the office or at events, etc. The possibilities are endless, and we haven’t even gotten to the best part yet which is that Animoto offers free Pro Accounts to nonprofit organizations. All you need to do is apply to their Animoto for a Cause program. Once approved, you can then add Call-to-Action buttons and links to your videos to help receive online donations and drive traffic your Web site.
Animoto has some additional features that allow you to get deeper into creating unique Animoto videos including an iPhone App that allows you to create videos on the go, and a Facebook App that creates videos for your organization’s Facebook Page using photos from your Page’s albums. You can also easily create an “Animoto” Tab for your Page under “Application Settings”.
Finally, for those nonprofits that do have video clips, you can use Animoto to create videos that combine photos and video clips. See Mashable’s Animoto Now Lets You Remix Video Clips; It’s Simply Awesome for more information and an example.