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DAM And The Not For Profit Sector

by Ralph Windsor on July 2, 2013

This article by Kristy Smith on iMedia Connection: 5 Ways Nonprofits Can Leverage Digital Asset Management has been picked up by a few people I follow on Twitter, notably @widenenterprises and @davidriecks  (maybe some others I’ve missed too).  Kristy works for Nationwide Children’s Hospital and she explains some of the reasons DAM can be used by not-for-profit organisations, including:

  • Saving valuable staff time by having people get assets themselves (self-service).
  • Ensure brand consistency.
  • Preserve the heritage and accumulated history of the organisation.
  • Re-use assets to avoid funds being wasted on shooting material the organisation already has the licence to use.
  • Enable cataloguing of assets to be de-centralised and delegated so it always has some metadata applied.

In recent years, our sector has been using high volumes of digital materials to achieve strategic goals. Many of us are now swimming in servers of uncategorized photos, logos, PDFs, and videos. And many more of us are drowning in them. There are times when we need to spend money to achieve engagement, awareness, and efficiency, and I argue that digital asset management (DAM) is one such expense. Nonprofits brand, market, and advertise like businesses because that is how we raise awareness. And we have to do it well to stand out in an era of information overload. At our hospital, we’ve used cloud-based DAM to supercharge our marketing efforts. Over the past five years, the bump to efficiency, brand consistency, and collaboration have been immeasurable.” [Read More]

One of my employer’s consulting clients is a large UK children’s charity and the use cases sounded remarkably similar.  They set up DAM to hold their campaign images and videos which are mostly model released footage of child actors.  As suggested in Kristy’s article, my client have numerous celebrity endorsements also and shots of various promotional events with the great and the good in attendance (and arguably some others who are neither).  Being able to have agencies, journalists and other authorised asset users access assets themselves without staff time and effort being diverted to find materials for people has saved them a significant amount – all of which can be re-invested into their important charitable work.  The ability to store legal documents along with the asset is another major advantage.

One of the other thoughts that occurred to me while reading this is how the benefits were also generally applicable to most other organisations too (whether profit making or otherwise).  This is an important point which I find when dealing with some representatives of nfp operations that often needs to be explained (but certainly not to the client referred to, I must add): just because the organisation doesn’t distribute profit to shareholders doesn’t mean you can’t run it like any other business.  That means being efficient and managing your repository of media content like any other asset so you can maximise the ROI from it.  What you decide to do with the savings obtained is a separate policy decision.

We feature a fair amount of fanciful comment and high-brow discussion of various complex subjects here on DAM News, but it’s always worth getting a straightforward reminder of what exactly DAM will offer for the average user and Kristy’s article achieves exactly that.

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