Spark x CHOICE Humanitarian Amy Copperman, SPark Editor/Community Manager


This October, I had the incredible opportunity to join CHOICE Humanitarian on the NGO's first public expedition to Meseta Andina, Peru. The main goal of my involvement was to create concierge content for CHOICE with Spark Video and to participate in the expedition as a volunteer. Along the way, I gained valuable insight into the challenges facing non-profits, evangelized Spark to volunteer and participating organizations, and experienced a personally and professionally rewarding challenge.

What is CHOICE Humanitarian?

CHOICE stands for Center for Humanitarian Outreach and Intercultural Exchange and the NGO's mission is to end extreme poverty in rural areas throughout the world. CHOICE expedition volunteers work hand-in-hand with motivated villagers on a variety of important development projects on 20+ week-long trips a year to seven countries worldwide.

CHOICE's Content Challenges

Like many non-profits, a lean team is responsible for many things, including content and social media marketing. In the case of CHOICE, Director of Expeditions Jordan Menzel creates most of the content marketing "on the side." In the past, he's turned to Canva for graphics and iMovie for short social media videos. But content is far from his only job. He's also responsible for managing dispersed in-country teams and creating a standard of expedition experience across all of CHOICE's seven territories worldwide.

CHOICE needs content for their social media pages aimed at spreading their mission and encouraging support and participation. They need effective ways to efficiently communicate with corporate partners, and an easy, visual way to communicate with dispersed in-country teams and volunteers.

The Spark Solution

With the help of CHOICE's CEO Leah Barker and Director of Expedition Jordan Menzel, I identified six pieces of user-inspired content I created for CHOICE to leverage on their social media pages. The following videos were shot on an iPhone 6 or GoPro and edited by me using Spark Video.

The CHOICE Expedition Experience advertisement: Volunteers pay to go on expeditions, which is a major revenue stream that allows CHOICE to fund its development projects. They need strong content that captures what the expedition entails in order to entice a particular type of traveler.

Days for Girls mission video: CHOICE and non-profit Days for Girls partner on expeditions in order to bring feminine hygiene and sex education to rural areas. This video describes the problem Days for Girls and CHOICE are tackling through education.

Corporate Sponsorship advertisement: (in-progress draft) CHG Healthcare sponsors employees on expeditions as part of the company's corporate responsibility culture. On this particular expedition, several CHG employees were on the trip so we used the opportunity to show their experience. This video doubles as community outreach to CHG participants and executives and recruitment for other corporate sponsors.

Dental Clinic Event Recap: Benevis/Kool Smiles sponsored three dentist volunteers who held a two-day dental clinic in the village. This video provides transparency to major donors, content for lead gen initiatives, and fodder for social media feeds.

Inspirational Volunteer Travel Videos: Advertisements and mission videos are crucial, but social media runs on editorial content that evokes emotion instead of sells something. Below is one such content marketing piece that speaks to the shared values between CHOICE and their social media followers.

Post-Trip Photo Journal for Volunteers: The goal of expeditions is to begin relationships with people who will become supporters of CHOICE long after their trip has ended. CHOICE needs to create an experience so memorable and cherished, participants will remember the NGO in their annual giving plans. CHOICE forms Facebook groups with expeditioners, hosts reunions and meet ups, and grants access to a Dropbox full of images from the expedition, but a beautiful digital album capturing the experience in the volunteers' words helps CHOICE go the extra mile and encourages volunteers to share the experience with their network.

How Spark Will Leverage Concierge COntent

Hero Content for Video Clip Launch

  • The Expedition Experience video is hero collateral for Video's December launch, showcasing a prime use-case in our target demographic. It also embeds Adobe's culture of responsibility directly into our content marketing strategy.
  • The other video pieces will support launch via organic social media posts following launch and be showcased on the blog, in galleries, and in social media ad campaigns.

Blog Content Pipeline

  • How-to blog posts that deconstruct the videos and provide how-tos, tips, and content ideas.
  • Non-profit week on Spark (11/28/2016): CHOICE UIC content will supplement UGC and help lead by example, while teasing launch.
  • Case-Study material: CHOICE Humanitarian received a 360* Spark experience and thorough demo of the product. A follow-up story about how the content performed and supported business goals in a couple months will provide extra value to Spark's marketing initiatives, both internally and externally.

See Concierge Content in Context

The Future of Spark and CHOICE

I began valuable relationships with CHOICE's CEO Leah Barker and director of expedition Jordan Menzel, which I'll continue to foster. They can provide on-going feedback about how Spark is meeting their needs as a global non-profit. And having experienced the CHOICE model first-hand, I can make knowledgeable recommendations on how they can use Spark to support their business needs. For instance, there's opportunity to explore how Spark can become a part of the expedition experience and be evangelized to volunteers with each trip. And because in-country teams are often responsible for local fundraising initiatives, Spark is their free (or inexpensive) solution for grass-roots fundraising on the local level.

On the Adobe brand level, CHOICE is interested in exploring a corporate partnership. CHG Healthcare is one potential model. Given Adobe's global reach and culture of charitable giving, I'd love to offer my personal experience as support for any potential research here.

Next Steps

  • Present concierge content to Adobe's Corporate Responsibility Team and explore ways Spark can become the standard for pro-bono content initiatives.
  • Deliver all concierge content to CHOICE for use on their social media pages.
  • Write making-of content for video launch.

Spark Video Beta Feedback

Through making multiple videos per day and refining them over the last month, I've gotten to know the product well as a customer. Here is my two-cents as Spark's internal target user:

  • I hardly ever want text in the middle of the frame, unless it's a title slide. It covers up the action.
  • Videos over 3 minutes are virtually impossible to trim on the iPhone app and actually rendered some interviews I conducted useless
  • I wish there was better organization options of assets and the ability to move clips between different video projects
  • The video almost always crashes on iPhone when the project gets large or an hour or so into using it. Usually it happens when saving a trim. However, closing out of the stalled app doesn't cause work to be lost so it's only mildly annoying.
  • It's not clear that you can zoom, crop, and move the video clip in the frame. I discovered that on accident after several uses.
  • When mining content, it's helpful to organize clips into albums on the iPhone first
  • Dropbox support is crucial
  • I'd like to create a clip that's a fraction of a second on occasion. You can do this in iMovie and it creates a faster paced video.
  • Most people who helped me film stuff on the trip expected to film in vertical.
  • It's best to capture one angle, hit pause, then create a new clip to capture a second angle since Spark only reveals the first frame when choosing clips
  • I wanted to create a talking heads look by putting video in different layouts beyond one thing. Possible?
  • Better music choices would help a lot

Thank you!

Created By
Amy Copperman


Jhosep Eduardo

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