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Third sector organizations turn to Adobe to visualize their message

Cath Everett Profile picture for user catheverett November 15, 2022
The importance of creating meaningful visual assets to help get your message across cannot be underestimated these days. A UK-based children’s cancer charity and Mexican community-led development NGO explain how they used tech to do just that.

An up close image of a green coloured eye with a light reflection in it
(Image by Bruno Henrique from Pixabay )

In today’s media- and social media-savvy age, the importance of mastering the art of communication should never be underestimated for those wanting to make their presence felt. 

Nowhere is this truer than in the third sector. Here an infinite number of good causes are not only trying to make their voices heard in an increasingly noisy environment, but they also need to find effective ways of communicating with members of their client and donor base too.

One organization that has been looking for effective ways to better support its members is UK charity, the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust. Its focus is looking after the needs of children with retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer, as well as those of their families and healthcare professionals. 

Around 40 to 50 cases of retinoblastoma are diagnosed in the UK each year, the equivalent of about one a week.  Affecting young children mainly under the age of six, the cancer develops in the cells of the retina. 

Most commonly, this leads to a white glow in an affected individual’s eye or pupil, which can be seen in dim lighting or if a photo is taken using a flash, as well as a squint. While the survival rate following treatment is high at 98%, early diagnosis is crucial to save a child’s eyes, sight and even their life.

Creating a platform for teenage voices to be heard

But the condition also has an impact on people as they get older. Isabella Greenwood, Communications Manager at the Trust,, explains:

In just over half of cases, people have to have their eye removed and replaced with a prosthetic one, or they go blind, which often leads to low body confidence. So after our Teenage Focus Council requested we create an additional website [alongside the Trust’s main site] specifically aimed at supporting the needs of teenagers and young adults, we started work on it last year

The idea was that it would give them a platform to discuss issues relating to them and be a place where they could have their voices heard. It was also about providing them with a single place to go and get guidance and have their questions answered.

The new site, which is aimed at 13 to 24 year olds and has an orange colour theme rather than the Trust’s more traditional blue, was launched on Saturday 22 October (2022) during its first in-person teen event since the start of the pandemic. The site includes everything from self-created real-life stories and interviews to a makeup tutorial for people with prosthetic eyes by actor and social media influencer, Kelsey Ellison.

The content is edited in-house using Adobe’s Express for Nonprofits content creation and design tool, which makes it easy to ensure it matches the Trust’s branding. 

The charity has also launched new Instagram and TikTok channels in a bid to raise awareness of retinoblastoma and attract interest among people beyond its traditional base. To further this aim, it also intends to launch an Ambassador programme by the end of the year, where members will do everything from create social media content to attend fundraising events on the Trust’s behalf.

Boosting and expanding brand awareness

Another charity that is also using Adobe Express for Nonprofits, meanwhile, is central Mexico-based PSYDEH. The grassroots non-profit organization’s goal is to tackle social and economic inequality by undertaking community-led development run by women for women. 

Set up in 2007, the organization employs 22 professionals, many of whom are local indigenous women. Its activity is primarily focused in Hidalgo, the country’s sixth most deprived state, but its development model is designed to be replicable, enabling it to be adopted wherever required. 

As to why PSYDEH introduced Adobe’s tool, Damon Taylor, Senior Advisor explains the key aim was to boost and expand awareness of its brand, which meant it needed:

To create high-quality visual teaching and communication assets [for our website, social media and international labor rights training]. But this content can be expensive and hard to do without the right design experts and tools in-house. Enter Adobe Express. The tool has been a huge game-changer that allows us to turn ideas into the professional-grade visual assets we need to sustainably transform ourselves, organizations and society.

This ability to create effective visual assets is important, Taylor says, because:

 Our mission isn’t always easy to explain to local women partners [who are all too often poorly educated and experience high levels of violence and discrimination] or global donors, but we needed to find a way to break through and connect at a national and global level. 

We were looking for new and simple ways to help build traction, build engagement, and cut through the noise. So we’re creating an online library of DIY human-centric short films, videos and animations, and we co-produce content with the women to feature their stories and portraits.

Another bonus of the tool is that it makes it possible to create poster templates in Spanish and three local indigenous languages – Otomi, Tepehua and Nathuatl – enabling the charity to “co-create with local women partners the materials needed to develop programs, improve strategic communication, and amplify voices”.

My take

In a world in which images and video content are increasingly highly prized, findings ways to get it out there quickly, easily and cost-effectively (the Adobe tool is free for non-profits) is a big bonus to cash-strapped charities wanting to make a mark.

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