e-Learning design and development ranks as one of my key passions, but a professional background that includes fundraising also keeps me interested in online appeals and donor relations. This month a key project for me was creation of an online solicitation to help my friend Gretchen collect for a fundraising event, the 2011 Walk MS Lexington. (Walk MS is an event sponsored by the National MS Society to raise funds for research, education about the disease, and programs and services to help those with MS move forward.) I used at least eight different software applications to get the job done. Here’s a list of the applications I used. (There may be others I’m just not remembering at the moment.)
Microsoft PowerPoint 2010
iSpring Presenter (PowerPoint to Flash conversion)
Adobe Photoshop and Fireworks CS4
TechSmith Snagit 10 and Camtasia Studio 7
FileZilla (FTP client)
The three applications I enjoyed working with most were probably PowerPoint, iSpring Presenter, and Creative’s Avatar Creator. Why? Because they were all relatively new to me—certain features, anyway. Although I’m quite familiar with PowerPoint, the 2010 version has some great additions I hadn’t tried out, and there were even some older features I hadn’t been aware of until recently and wanted to use. iSpring Presenter, of which I’d won a copy recently, is a fine tool for converting PowerPoint to Flash, maintaining all transitions and animations perfectly. And Creative’s Avatar Creator was something I’d heard about only a few days ago and was excited to try out. Learning new software and features can make me happy for days!
One area I definitely learned a lot about was creating cutout images. The video used several photos that I wanted only certain parts of, so I researched how to cut out an image in Photoshop and tried it out. The results, I thought, were pretty darn good.
I could likely go on for days about the applications I’ve just noted, but I will stop here. Suffice it to say that I had a great time putting things all together to make an appeal I’m proud of. Gretchen has reached more than half her goal toward the fundraiser, and we expect she’ll reach the full goal soon. Next project for me: an online thank-you video to all her supporters!