Building Networks to Build Bigger Stories

Rooted in Rights Explains Series

A still from one of Block by Block’s accessible video explainers shows animated disabled characters protesting.

Nonprofits often operate with few resources to meet the needs of their constituents. Typically, communications projects fall low on the priority list, even when raising awareness of issues can be the key to making change.

So what if you could pool the collective wisdom and resources of organizations working towards similar goals, and produce communication products that helped everyone?

That’s what we pitched to our colleagues at Rooted in Rights, a video and social media advocacy program focused on elevating the storytelling surrounding disability rights issues. We recruited other organizations to get involved, coordinated teams of clients and creatives for each video, and creatively directed the project.

This meant facilitating dozens of conference calls and video chats to allow 15 organizations from Alaska to Florida to work together.

The result was five videos that broke down complex disability rights related topics in easy to digest explanations. But the videos only tell part of the tale.

The network we organized to build these stories was the key to success.

Rooted in Rights’ parent organization, Disability Rights Washington, is a member of a network of similar agencies in every state and territory in the United States.

While these agencies collaborate on legal and legislative advocacy frequently, they rarely work together on communications projects.

Yet disabled citizens are faced with an array of complex systems to navigate — from healthcare to housing to employment, no matter where they reside.

And the resources to help people successfully navigate those systems are not always easy to access (if they are even available at all).

Each organization in this network worked independently and as with most nonprofits, time and resources were scarce.

Rooted in Rights provided expertise, staff time and their award-winning platforms. Block by Block led the overall creative strategy and stewarded the project towards completion.

And 15 organizations working on disability rights across the United States each saved 90% on costs and spread a cohesive message via the same video, each tweaked slightly to include their specific contact information.

So what’s the moral here?

We’re creators and builders — and that includes creating and building partnerships between organizations so they can work more efficiently on shared goals.

Let's brainstorm your next collaborative video idea.