Deadline Nears for Nonprofit Video Contest Tufts Contest Recognizes Nonprofits and Aspiring Filmmakers

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass.-- At time when many struggling charities are creating online videos to showcase their work—and the needs of the communities they serve — a Tufts University team is sponsoring a video contest to recognize and promote nonprofits that help children and families, and reward the aspiring filmmakers who tell their stories through visual media. 

The initiative known as the "501c3" is the brainchild of Tufts University Child Development Professor Fred Rothbaum and three Tufts students. "We were considering names for the contest," Rothbaum explains, "and one of the students suggested combining the IRS term for tax-exempt nonprofits, with the goal of capturing change on camera," and '501c3' was born.”

Kris Carter, one of the Tufts graduate students coordinating the contest, explains that the video entries must be less than five minutes long and should tell the story of the non-profit organization benefiting children, youth and family programs. "We are anticipating submissions that are moving, humorous, compelling, powerful and interesting, because we know they’re out there,"he says.

"Submissions will be accepted through December 15, 2010 via Vimeo, which is similar to YouTube, and a winner will be announced in January," Carter says. Cash prizes include a $3000 first-place prize to be split 50/50 between the filmmaker and the nonprofit organization, a second-place prize and a special "best-in-show"prize for any filmmaker under 18 years old.

Carter explains that 501C3’s mission "is to use the power of visual media to highlight and share the important, under-recognized work of children, youth, and family non-profits in our communities and serve as a resource for volunteers, interest-seekers, supporters, and partnering organizations."

The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that, as the quality of sound and images and user-friendliness have increased, and cost of equipment have decreased, nonprofits (even those that are cash-strapped) are turning to video in record numbers to tell their stories. New opportunities for hosting, presenting and sharing these videos online—and the power of YouTube, other video-hosting sites and social media—are making it possible for charities and nonprofits to create and commission excellent-quality, low-budget videos like never before.

In seeking to cut through the online clutter and get their work noticed, the Tufts team points out, aspiring filmmakers are pursuing humor, great story telling and creative approaches. "We want to see and recognize the best original works made for nonprofits that serve children and families," says Professor Rothbaum, creator of the widely used Child & Family WebGuide an expert-reviewed online resource with helpful information for parents, families and those who serve and support them.

"The goal of the WebGuide is to give the public easy access to the best child development information on the Web," Rothbaum explains. "As part of the Child & Family WebGuide, 501c3 will give an opportunity for filmmakers and children, youth, and family non-profits to collaborate and showcase the critical work organizations do in communities." Carter adds that linking these videos to the WebGuide using a searchable database "will serve the dual purpose of raising their visibility among those who can benefit from the nonprofits and those who can support their work."

More information about the contest:


Back to Top