Digital Asset Management Systems in a Time of Need

Haitian woman carries a shelter kit. Photo by Habitat for Humanity International/Ezra Millstein

Haitian woman carries a shelter kit.

Digital asset management systems play a huge role in fundraising efforts for non-profit and other organizations especially when a natural disaster strikes an area.

The news media provides an important role and is usually quite good at getting the first images out to the world and perhaps follow-up coverage for about a week, but then it becomes “old” news.

It is the photos that are distributed by relief organizations who are onsite that tend to have lasting effects. People around the world are interested in seeing how organizations are rebuilding or providing relief to people affected by the disaster.

Photographs are usually emailed or sent via some type of electronic transport (like ftp) from the disaster site to the organization’s central DAM. From there they may be posted on a website, or distributed directly to people who are known contributors.

Images may be used in newsletters that go out to potential contributors so they can see how their favorite organization is helping, whether it is providing medical help, shelter, food, or perhaps religious guidance.

After the earthquake in Haiti, Habitat-for-Humanity International posted images in their Merlin DAM system of Haitian women carrying 5-gallon bucket shelter kits that consisted of a crowbar, a rope, a tarp, nails, a trowel, a handsaw and hammer and work gloves. Contributors or potential contributors from around the world can see how their financial donations do have a direct impact on providing temporary shelter to people left homeless from the earthquake.

Save the Children’s director of field technology said their Merlin hosted digital asset management system allows greater access for the Save the Children Universe to a library of images that helps to tell compelling stories that raise funds that save children’s lives.

Images stored in an organizations’ centralized digital asset management system can easily be accessed and reused, not only for the current campaign, but for future fundraising or annual reports as well. When all your assets are stored in the same system, they are safe, secure and they are easy to find and help tell your story over and over again.

Posted by Rande Simpson
Photo by Habitat for Humanity International/Ezra Millstein

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