What does a nonprofit need today to spread its message? Most consultants would say a website and social media presence at least. In addition, many nonprofits are using professionally-made videos to represent their mission.
“This is the way the modern world is,” said Gerald Kolpan, founder of The PHILO Project and a former TV reporter. “People need good video representation of what they’re doing.”
The PHILO Project is a pro bono service that creates videos for cash-strapped nonprofits in need of new ways to get their message out. Video is essential, said Kolpan, to be visible in today’s media climate.
“If you don’t have a good professional video, you are at a big disadvantage, especially when it comes to things like crowd-funding,” he added.
The mostly one-man operation selects nonprofits that are small (budgets below $1 million) and genuinely supportive of the community. It has served nearly 20 organizations since its founding in 2012, many of them well-known nonprofits such as Philly Aids Thrift, West Philly Tool Library, Rock to the Future, Attic Youth Center, and Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens.
“If they’re meeting an important community need, if their budget is within a purview of our guidelines, then they’re eligible,” Kolpan said.
The videos, once completed, can be used for a variety of uses — from simply introducing the organization to attracting volunteers or funders.
Kolpan developed his ability to film and edit video as a features reporter for Fox 29, where he worked for 21 years. His skill-set as a TV reporter is evident in the style of the videos, which often feel like news stories, just with better production and a narrow focus on the organization.
After retiring from Fox 29 in 2009, Kolpan stayed busy writing a novel and doing other side projects. He stumbled upon the idea for The PHILO Project while helping an old friend, Tim Whitaker, create a short video for the after-school reading and writing academy Mighty Writers.
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Whitaker, who founded Mighty Writers, needed a video for marketing purposes but had no time or money to do it. Kolpan offered to help and created the video in just five days.
Kolpan thought at the time, he said, “that there must must be a lot of small nonprofits who need good video and can’t afford it.”
The PHILO Project became a legal nonprofit a year ago and is now seeking grant funding to continue operations past next year. It has also launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise money. The campaign has eight days left.-30-
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