How can better Digital Asset Management help charities?

As a charity - whether you're a regional organisation or an internationally recognised cause - every marketing campaign you launch truly counts. However, putting those communications together is often easier said than done.

One of the great things about charitable work is that paid workers and volunteer staff are brought together, to both fundraise and enable the vital support services. Often these teams create valuable digital assets - such as photographs, videos and testimonials - that can be used to create powerful marketing collateral. But it's easy for these to become lost in the system, and never fully utilised.

Investing in Digital Asset Management (DAM) software can completely revolutionise the way charities run and market their organisation - and finding the right solution is critical to success.

DAM considerations for charities

Digital Asset Management is a centralised platform for organising, storing and sharing rich media assets such as photos, videos and other forms of documentation.

By streamlining digital content storage and access in this way, charities can make it easier for people throughout their organisation to upload and download important files - usually for use across internal communications, marketing campaigns, and in response to PR requests. This has a number of benefits:

  • Easier to enable brand and tone of voice consistency - making sure that every communication is on-message
  • Every person knows what digital assets are available - so powerful images and documents do not get lost in the system
  • Images and documents can be accessed at a moment's notice - critical when building campaigns or updates in response to a major incident
  • Storage solutions can be accessed from any location - employees can upload and use documents, wherever they are based in the world
  • Access can be tailored by user - meaning teams can only see or edit relevant files, to avoid 'too many cooks' cluttering up the system
  • Less time and effort needed to create and distribute campaigns - so team efforts can be spent on even more valuable activities

Clearly, there are some tangible reasons to introduce a DAM solution into a charity, but there are also opportunities for organisations to make an expensive mistake, if they fail to pick the right solution for their business.

What should charities look for when choosing DAM software?

Firstly, many DAM software providers offer a generic, out-of-the-box solution to any type of business, but the needs of charities are unique. Therefore, ideally, organisations should look for a partner with a proven track record in their sector.

Secondly, as a not-for-profit, cost-effectiveness is key. The right software will offer charities the functions to run their content and campaigns more efficiently, at the same time as not breaking the bank. Often, one good quality DAM solution can replace multiple systems already in place, and scaling back on software has a positive cost-saving benefit.

One easy way to save money is to use open source software, which is free. If you are able to configure and host DAM software then that's all you need to pay for. If not most open source providers, like ResourceSpace, can support you with hosting and setup. Proprietary commercial software will have an ongoing cost, likely to be monthly or annual. (Our white paper: Open source VS. proprietary software explores this in more detail.)

Thirdly, any DAM software for charities should be cloud-based, meaning documents are stored remotely on the web rather than on a local server. This makes it easy for staff to upload or access files from anywhere in the world - including out in the field.

For many charities, cloud access ensures a vital communication network between the front-line and marketing communications teams, and those users need to trust their connection is secure.

Finally, make sure the solution can be set up to control how content is ordered and accessed. A good category tagging system makes sure that assets are saved in a logical manner, and can be found quickly, while customised user settings enable certain members to receive access to the assets they need for their job - and nothing else.

Some leading solutions even feature management review and approval tools, to make sure that everything uploaded to the system has been verified.

ResourceSpace's DAM solutions for charities

At ResourceSpace, our software was built for use by Oxfam, and is now helping many more leading not-for-profit organisations to streamline and centralise their digital assets.

Save the Children, War Child, Action Aid and Friends of the Earth are just some of the charities using ResourceSpace to unite their workforce, and ensure their whole organisation is operating with a shared vision and voice.

To see how DAM software can change your charity for the good, take a free ResourceSpace trial. You can also visit our charities page to find out more about ResourceSpace's work within the not-for-profit sector.