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Videos that Move Us to Laugh, Cry, Think and Act

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Eileen Hannan

Eileen Hannan

Videos are a  valuable tool for nonprofits to spread their messages.  To celebrate this communication medium, we are sharing some of our favorite YouTube videos with our Philanthropy Journal readers.      

1.   What is Philanthropy?

I think one of the first things we have to do for philanthropic studies is to investigate how people think of philanthropy. I like this video clip because it helped me  figure out how the general citizen defines philanthropy.    Chongmyoung Lee, Institute Research Assistant and Department of Public Administration doctoral student

2.   What did you do to my sign?

This is a great YouTube on the “power of words and communication”   Beth Briggs, Member of the Institute’s External Advisory Council

3.   Adam Braun, Pencils of Promise

Pencils for Promise began in 2008 with a simple request from a young boy in India stating all he wanted was a pencil. Adam Braun took this idea a started changing the world. One of the nice things about this organization is that almost all of the resources come from the area in which the schools are being built; including materials, planning committees, labor, etc.  Adam should be an inspiration to all of us.   Melonie St. John, Institute Program Associate

4.   Team Work

This video reminds me that sometimes all it takes is for one person to take the first step.  That step can end up sparking a movement that changes the world.    Mary Tschirhart, Institute Director and Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs     

5.   “My Wish” series (2006): Andrew’s wish to meet Tedy Bruschi

I’ve always appreciated organizations whose visions are greater than themselves. Organizations such as Make a Wish remind me every day how fragile life is and how much we all have to appreciate our surroundings and the people that make our lives special.   Gary Travinin, Institute Research Assistant and Department of Psychology doctoral student

6.   Charity: Water with Jennifer Connelly

With nearly 64% of the U.S. now experiencing drought conditions, this video reminds me to take nothing for granted. With each sip at the water fountain, each hand washing, each ten minute shower, we must remember that there are those for whom life’s most basic needs such as water, have never been within reach.   Eileen Hannan, Institute Program Coordinator 

7.   TEDxNCSU – Saul Flores – Walk of the Immigrants

Saul modeled his mother and father’s immigration to the USA and wrote and took photographs to document his “migrant walk” to learn, raise awareness, and teach and to give back to the kids of his native Mexico to inspire them and provide opportunities for them to grow and develop to their potential. His video is poignant, painful, inspiring and gritty – challenging me in so many ways internally and as an instructor. Saul challenges each of us to seek our vision and follow our passions.    Melinda Sopher, Faculty Instructor, Communication Department & Institute’s Nonprofit Studies Minor, Member of Institute’s Academic Advisory Council    

8.   Kiva: What Can Your $25 Do?   

As a contributor to this organization, it’s great to see the many different ways that I and others can make with small contributions to the lives of others we will only meet through the work of Kiva.  Brenda Summers, Consultant working with Philanthropy Journal and Nonprofit Management Instructor

9.   What Nonprofits Can Learn from Coca-Cola

 I love how Gates draws strategies from the for-profit world and applies them to the nonprofit world. Gates’ perspective demonstrates how nonprofits can learn from for profits to achieve greater results in communities across the world that face a variety of issues.    Emily Holder, Consultant helping with Philanthropy Journal

10.  4 Magic Phrases You Can Use to Respond to ANYTHING

This is one I have been using on dealing with difficult interactions. This is only tangentially related to nonprofits, as it is really more general ideas about how to ask questions that improve understanding of where others are coming from rather than assuming their intentions and becoming defensive.   Jessica Jameson,   Member of the Institute’s Academic Advisory Council and Professor of Communication

 Please tell other Philanthropy Journal readers what video(s) move you by tweeting the video link to @phijo or posting a new comment below.


Eileen Hannan is program coordinator at the Institute for Nonprofit Research, Education and Engagement and advisor for the undergraduate minor in Nonprofit Studies at North Carolina State University. To learn more about the minor, go here

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