Adobe offer some of the most popular desktop products on Charity Digital Exchange, and with good reason. Both Acrobat and Photoshop & Premiere Elements provide tools to help charities with marketing, communications and administration. Better yet, there are countless tutorials and guides available online, free of charge.
Photoshop and Acrobat are products that therefore appeal to a broad range of charities. In this article, however, we specifically explore how youth-activity-based charities have made the most of Adobe’s offerings. The charities we have focused on for this article are:
- YMCA Coventry and Warwickshire – Aimed at meeting the needs of young people by creating and transforming communities to be stronger and more supportive.
- City YMCA – Aims to help provide opportunity for young homeless people by providing short and long term accommodation and support.
- The Proud Trust – Offering youth groups, peer support and running a centre to improve the quality of life for LGBT young people .
- Endeavour Club – Offering young people a safe space for a range of activities that offer and enhance education and development.
This category provides an interesting example as there are certain charities, such as City YMCA and Coventry and Warwickshire YMCA, who used the tools to provide training as well as just for internal use. Read on to find out more about this and all the other applications of Adobe products.
There are two editions of this product available on the Charity Digital Exchange programme: the 14th and 15th editions.
Photoshop Elements 14 and Premiere Elements 14 are available as part of the TechSoup Boost programme. With this, a one off fee offers you this software as well as others, like Skype for Business and Box starter edition. The more recent edition is available as normal on the Charity Digital Exchange programme
The charities we reached out to showcased the broad variety of uses Photoshop and Premiere Elements can have for similar charities. Some of the key uses are: to produce digital marketing resources, to enhance physical resources and to improve internally used and accessed documentation.
Photoshop is used by these charities for:
- Creating and improving posters: Many youth-focused charities run events and support groups that need publicising throughout the local community. Well-designed visuals can make these posters much more effective.
- Designing leaflets – Many of the organisations within this category offer extensive support and advice. Leaflets that can be offered for young people to take away and good use of images can make the information much more digestible.
- Producing internal resources – Although internal resources may not need to be as bright and flashy, Photoshop is a quick and easy tool for basic editing that could be used for ID badges or images used for internal reports.
Having access to the discounted software, whereby you can purchase just a single license, means that smaller charities or branches of charities (such as local YMCA’s) can take solely what they need. This removes additional expenditure on unnecessary licenses.
YMCA Coventry and Warwickshire expressed the benefits of this cost-effective offering. A recent re-brand across all branches has meant only 2 of their 22 staff really need access to the software, so could not have validated the cost at full-price. Using Photoshop, this branch of YMCA was able to produce high quality posters for their ‘Sleep Easy’ fundraising campaign prompting people to experience sleeping rough for the night. An example of the results they achieved using Photoshop is shown to the right.
City YMCA found an additional use for Photoshop that other charities could also implicate relatively easy. The organisation began offering training in Photography and editing in Photoshop. Examples of skills they were taught include:
- Converting files: Different formats work better in different scenarios. For example, PNGs are great if you want to keep a transparent background when you paste the image elsewhere.
- Altering highlights and shadows: brighten or darken pictures to make them stand out more or fit better with your branding.
- Editing contrast and exposure: Though cameras do a great job of this, it’s great to have the option to further correct on your computer
- Cropping and resizing images correctly: If you’re wanting to have your images in various places it’s handy to keep a copy in Photoshop format so that you can simply go in and edit ‘image size’ or ‘canvas size’ to what you need.
This training gave young people the opportunity to gain a qualification that could be put on CV or discussed in a job interview. They succeeded in having 4 students graduating from the course. You can see an example of the work to the right.
City YMCA are an organisation with over 25 people, so it’s important that they save on software costs so that they can afford the multiple licenses required for training.
Adobe Acrobat is a hugely helpful resource, particularly for charities. Some of the essential benefits of the software include:
- Convert or scan to PDF – You can create a PDF from any application that prints, including Microsoft Office.
- Combine files from different applications – You can combine numerous different file types into one PDF, useful if you have a report of which various people have worked on parts using various programmes.
- Collect data with editable forms – You can collect data from the forms you have sent out and put it in a PDF package that can be exported into a spreadsheet.
Many organisations are frequently expected to offer up reports, whether that be on expenditure, successes or a little bit of everything from the financial year.
Acrobat offers a PDF conversion service that makes formatting and sharing these reports much safer and more efficient. Endeavour Club are a charity that rely on Acrobat to collate and produce documents for sharing. Specifically, they most frequently use it for grant application documents.
Using Acrobat to produce documents you don’t want edited also ensures documents stay in the correct format across all operating systems. This helps makes sure there is consistency regardless of a computers capabilities.
It doesn’t just have to be for documents you want untouched though. The Proud Trust create forms as interactive PDF’s that clients and donors can fill out. It means they are filled out uniformly so the data is straight forward to read and interpret.
Better yet, converting to PDF can decrease file sizes and increase loading speed. This is a huge help to charities that need to share documents across different devices, or want to include these kind of resources on their website. If files open quickly, users will be much more inclined to read on, in comparison to if they had to wait a number of seconds.
Both the Endeavour Club and The Proud Trust have found Acrobat a useful tool for ensuring professional results for both their internal and external documents.
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