Tulsa Community Voice Mail just published a nice video on their blog, featuring clients from that city talking about how having a CVM voice mail number has helped them. I can talk all day about how this simple service makes a difference to people who can't afford a reliable phone number, but a few words from our clients trumps everything. Nothing like hearing it from the people it's actually benefiting. (Direct link to the video on YouTube here.)
Lori, the Tulsa CVM Manager, recorded the clients comments using a Flip Video camera that we purchased at a discount via Flip Video Spotlight, the company's charitable giving program. If the nonprofit you care about hasn't pursued video yet, getting a camera via this program is a great way to start. When we applied, we were given an option to get two 60-minute cameras for the price of one, and now it appears they're offing a 120-minute version. The cameras are simple to operate (you can only record/play, and zoom in/out; no other buttons), the lens is great, and it comes with a built-in USB connector so you can plug it right into your computer. The software, which resides on the camera, enables minor editing and direct posting to YouTube, etc. Great stuff, particularly for interviews and other close-in recording.
And if you think Lori is some sort of video expert with fancy equipment, think again. These interviews were created by placing the camera on a filing cabinet and pointing it at the clients, who were sitting in her office. Lori did the editing herself, and I believe this was her first experience with video. I think the fact that the camera is very small (like an iPod) and not intimidating brings out better interviews. Get one!