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Nonprofits: Steal This Film For Your Own Purposes

Don’t have the money to make a fundraising pitch for yourself? You can tailor this open-source one to your own needs.

Tiffany Shlain, a filmmaker perhaps best known for the documentary Connected and for founding the Webby Awards, is turning into a fairy godmother for nonprofits in need of new ways to get out their messages. Her latest 10-minute film, Brain Power, could help childhood development-related nonprofits solicit donations, volunteers, and anything else they might need.

We’ve written before about Shlain’s project, a series of digital shorts that nonprofits can use for free to further their causes. The first film in the series, A Declaration of Interdependence, was an experiment in what Shlain calls "cloud filmmaking"—where video and art from people around the world is integrated into a film.

All the videos in the Let It Ripple series have customizable endings for nonprofits (sample endings from Declaration of Interdependence include "Declare your interdependence by donating your old cell phone to connect isolated people to medical care" and "Declare your interdependence by supporting a girl’s dream for the future), which can also imprint the films with logos and links to their websites. Shlain’s Moxie Institute will even help nonprofits perfect their messages.

In Brain Power, Shlain uses research from Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child and the University of Washington’s I-LABS to explore connections between a child’s developing brain and the always-developing brain of the Internet. The film is accompanied by a TED book that dives deeper into the science behind the story.

Check out the film above. And nonprofits: Start thinking about how you can use it for your benefit.