How Trickle Up Animated Their Nonprofit Story

“We simply don’t have the money to produce big videos every year,” shares Tyler McClelland of Trickle Up, a nonprofit organization that empowers women to break the cycle of poverty by starting sustainable livelihoods of their own.

So they did what a lot of nonprofits do: create a short pitch deck. But through creative use of PowerPoint, the deck became a three-second story-telling animation called: “She’s the Solution.”

McClelland, who serves the organization as Special Assistant to the President, admits he’s somewhat of a PowerPoint whiz. But he insists that anyone can create a compelling presentation using the program.

“If you think about it, a slideshow is the same as a movie reel,” McClelland said. “It’s just a sequence of frames. So it’s possible—anyone can do it.”

So how did Trickle Up do it? First, the team brainstormed the narrative for the video and how to convey the organization’s mission. Then McClelland got to work, making extensive use of PowerPoint’s tools to design the animations.

“I designed the pathways to make the words stack, or when the money flies out of the basket [at 1:57], using the Custom Path tool,” he confides. “The preview function saved a lot of time by letting me see the animations without having to re-do all of them.”

Familiarity with the tool, he explained, made PowerPoint the obvious choice over learning to use a new program. “I’m not familiar with any video editing software,” he said. “PowerPoint is a tool we already had, and rather than spend time researching new software, we were thinking creatively about how to use PowerPoint and accomplish something that needed to get done.”

Arya Iranpour, Communications Officer at Trickle Up, added, “The beauty of Microsoft products, especially PowerPoint, is that you learn them from when you’re in middle school. I remember using it when I was in grade four. Anybody can do it, and you don’t have to be a professional to do it.” Iranpour helped see the video through its final stages, setting it to music and using a format converter to turn the PowerPoint file and accompanying music into a video.

The video has gotten quite a lot of mileage since it was first produced—and it gets noticed for McClelland’s creative use of the tool. “People have an ‘Aha’ moment because they’re familiar with PowerPoint,” he says.

The international organization received donated licenses of the Microsoft Office suite through our partner TechSoup. Trickle Up pushes its resources to go the extra mile to maximize impact where it matters most—in the lives of the impoverished women it serves.

For more on resources Microsoft provides to nonprofits around the world, visit:

Trickle Up

Comments (2)

  1. Jayne says:

    I love this! I wish I could the same thing for my organization.

  2. Ed Meny says:

    Where can I go for some "how to's"?  I am running Power Point 2010 and I could just use an example or two to get me started.  

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