Using Smartimage for charity and nonprofit image management
About Kent Scouts
Tell us a little bit about Kent Scouts and your role with the organization.
Kent Scouts is part of The UK Scout Association (Youth charity) and provides Scouting in the county of Kent (South East of England).
We have over 4,000 adult volunteers who provide adventure and fun to over 16,000 young people on a weekly basis.
My role as head of Media involves promoting Scouting both externally with the press, funders and parents and internally by supporting communications and providing tools for our volunteers.
What kinds of images does Kent Scouts have and what are they used for?
Our images include a mix of young people taking part in adventurous activities, large events such as KIJ (Kent International Jamboree) where over 6,000 Scouts from around the world were joined by Chief Scout – Bear Grylls and presentations where we recognise the achievements of our members.
We also store brand assets such as logos, banners, leaflets and templates.
Your experience before Smartimage
What challenges did you face with your images?
As a county we have some fantastic photos taken by very talented volunteers but they often would end up on a CD or harddrive limiting their ongoing use and meaning we would often struggle to get a copy of the high resolution originals.
It also meant we were not able to efficiently share the photography and brand assets with our 4,000+ volunteers.
How did you try to solve these challenges before Smartimage? What were the results?
Over the years (limited) images and resources have been stored on websites, CDs and more recently a NAS server – however we were looking for something that was easily accessible, simple to use (both for content administrators and public visitors), previewed the files and allowed downloading in a range of formats.
Looking for a solution
How did you go about looking for a solution?
In my professional career I had previously worked with a large corporate DAM (Digital Asset Management) system so had some experience of the tools that exist – the only problem being as a relatively small charity we didn’t have the multi-million pound budget!
I started by considering using tools like Dropbox, Flickr or OwnCloud and whilst all excellent in what they do in their own right they didn’t quite tick all the boxes.
What features were must haves?
Smartimage covers what we need so well I’ve probably forgotten some, but from memory:
- INTUITIVE and QUICK to use!
- Searchable (metadata)
- Permissions for hiding some content
- Ability to preview and download files (ideally in different formats/resolutions)
- Management of content editors
- Storage of ‘other’ file types such as PDF and Ai files.
What lead you to trying out Smartimage?
I had been talking to our volunteers over a weekend last year and one of the things they were missing was easy access to good quality Scouting images. This set me looking for a solution. Having tried some of the tools mentioned above, and looked at products out of our price bracket, I accidentally stumbled across the Smartimage website. I registered for a trial and a few hours later I was sold!
What three features do you love most about Smartimage? Why do you love them?
Our members who may have never used the system before can visit our Smartimage account, find and download images with ease for their poster, newsletter, website etc – helping them create great looking content!
The interface is modern and fast and allows us to modify it to suit our brand.
Images maintain their metadata and can be properly tagged and indexed making it easy for others to find what they are looking for.
Your results with Smartimage
What problems has Smartimage solved for Kent Scouts?
We now share our images and are building up an archive of adventurous images used by our members rather than the files sitting in a drawer!
What’s your “biggest win” as result of using Smartimage?
Our Smartimage user base is diverse with young people and adults accessing and uploading photography – the success has been that members of all ages have welcomed the introduction and been able to effectively use it across our organisation.
What’s the biggest reason you recommend using Smartimage?
I recommend Smartimage as it helps with sharing resources and promotes best practice. It has enough functionality to suit most needs without the complexity or price tag of much larger systems.Smartimage Case Study: Kent Scouts by Nate Holmes