Philly DoGooder Awards: Showing nonprofits the ‘power of storytelling’

Asking for support works better with a tug of the heartstrings. 

That’s the idea behind the Philadelphia DoGooder Awards, a new project pairing local nonprofits with aspiring filmmakers.

The DoGooder Awards are actually a national contest presented by YouTube. Philly’s first-ever local version will ultimately feed in to the national awards. The project is being organized by Here’s My Chance, a digital marketing agency that helps nonprofits with social media and other online efforts.

The new initiative matches nonprofits with filmmakers. The end product is a two-minute video designed to rally the troops — both online voters and potential funding partners.

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“It’s the power of storytelling,” says Here’s My Chance CEO David Gloss. “In this day and age, nobody’s reading a 90-page annual report. People are responding to things viscerally. Like, how do you get somebody to get emotionally involved in your organization?”

Gloss says video is an answer. He points to the success of campaigns by organizations such as The Girl Effect.


“We want to have organizations recognize that it’s not about creating a video of, ‘This is my program, this is what I do,’ ” says Gloss. “It’s how do you create that visceral response — emotional, humorous, being deliberate in how you get people activated around your cause.”

Local winners will split a $250,000 pool of prizes. Still, Gloss emphasizes that everyone leaves a winner. Up to 75 participating nonprofits will get a formal assessment of their organization’s strengths and weaknesses.

The main event, however, is a “video hackathon” that starts Nov. 2. Once nonprofits and filmmakers are paired up, they’ll have 10 days to produce a video.

If you’re interested in participating, applications are being accepted from now until mid-October. You can find more information on the Philadelphia DoGooder website.

[DISCLOSURE:, which helps fund the WHYY Innovations Desk, is a Philly DoGooder partner organization.]

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