I think it’s pretty clear from my blog that I’m equal parts scientist and artists. One of the things I do on the art side is that I’m on the Board of Directors for the Pamela Trokanski Dance Theatre. My job is twofold: (1) manage the social media outlets, and more recently (2) I am the Team Leader for our participation in the Big Day of Giving, which requires a lot of social media. So, I’m doing a lot of graphic design, communications, advertising, and coordination. Big Day of Giving is a day (literally 24 hours) of donating to Sacramento-area nonprofit organizations that have profiles with Giving Edge.
Having a successful Big Day of Giving almost requires someone on your team to be able to film and edit videos and to create engaging graphics all of which can be posted online, added to blog articles, and be sent in emails… not to mention printed materials and press releases. HOW do you do all of that? Through my graphic editing and generating needs as a scientist (hello, figures in journal articles!), I’ve collected a set of go-to tools that are all FREE and open source.
Graphic Design: Inkscape
Video Editing: OpenShot
Why does free and open source matter? Pamela Trokanksi Dance Theatre is a 501(c)3 education nonprofit. Read: we have no money to spend on expensive art programs. All of our operating costs are provided through donations and ticket sales. Additionally, all of our board members (the board is a major source of volunteer hours) can download and use these programs without incurring costs. Each of our board members already donates monetarily to the the organizations. We, as board members, don’t want to have to spend money on software.
“But these are advanced tools!” I’ve heard people complain. “It’s too much for volunteers to learn.” Sigh. All I can say is try. It helps that two members of our board are die-hard Inkscape fans. We set up Inkscape templates with the logos already added to make start-up easy for the novices. So far, so good.