Why is the Connect Foundation needed?

In today’s digital era, having a strong online presence is crucial for non-profit organisations to gain legitimacy, credibility, and funding. Without it, these teams risk falling behind and are unable to create awareness around the issues they are working so hard to address. We want to help tell their stories, to reach people around the world who may be able to donate or assist their projects in some way, and ultimately make a larger positive impact on our world today. This is why we created Connect.

We believe that the gap between non-profits and the digital world is real, and it threatens important work that is underway.

Connect is an organisation that aims to bridge the gap between the work NPOs are doing and the digital world. Connect is a content creation organisation and a YouTube Channel. We will assist NPOs through high-quality content creation. Connect will assist NPOs to reach a broader audience and will garner support for their causes.

Our goal is to join hands with the experts on the ground, who are making a real difference in the world. As non-profit organisations typically lack the budget and expertise for high-quality content creation, we provide the necessary content to showcase their impact and tell their story.

Connect will create high-quality content for use on social media, websites, and internally (for example – at private presentations). Through this platform, these organisations can take ownership of the content and use it as needed. Our goal is to tell engaging stories and share the remarkable work being done using film and photography, meeting the huge need for this type of content.

Our Mission

We want to create significant, sustainable change through content creation. Connect will support non- profit organisations that are working tirelessly to address environmental and humanitarian issues that fall within the Connect Pillars.

Our Vision

There are threats that exist and are simply a reality. These are global threats to our wilderness and the wildlife that inhabits these areas. There are serious issues impacting people living alongside wilderness areas, in poverty-stricken areas and worldwide. By supporting these communities, conservation goals are supported, too. We need nature, and so many of the threats facing nature, threaten us, too. Content is extremely powerful and can inspire people to act. We believe people and conservation are inextricably linked, and our vision is to highlight this interconnectedness, inspire people to play a role in creating a sustainable future by sharing meaningful content. We want to make it easy to donate, volunteer. Our platforms will be interactive, with a focus on engaging with our audience. Whether it’s through raising funds or creating awareness, we want the content we create to lead change in the real world.

How we will create change

Black Bean has founded Connect, a non- profit that operates as a content creation organisation and a YouTube channel. Our approach is based on “film philanthropy”, producing purpose-filled content that empowers NPOs to increase their online visibility, connect with a wider audience, and attract funding. We bridge the gap by creating engaging content that tells incredible stories that are always linked to a NPO addressing an issue. We also help with distribution, using our YouTube channel to reach a greater audience and make an impact.

Our goal is to empower remarkable organisations by creating high-quality, impactful content that helps them to maximise their positive impact.

Content Creation – we help NPOs create high- quality content including videos and photographs. Through film and photography we showcase their impact and engage their audience.

Connect aims to support 15 non-profit organisations annually by granting them content. The ultimate objective is to create a community that is focused on changing the world.

We are looking for like-minded people to join us on our mission to ‘bridge the gap’. Struggling non-profits working with Connect can create a digital presence that helps them to achieve their mission, reach a wider audience and make a larger positive impact.

Our core content pillars

These are our Connect Pillars – we will work with individuals and teams that are doing work within these categories:

Our Natural World
Our Oceans
Our Wildlife
Our Youth
Illegal Wildlife Trade
People In Need
Our Women

Our chosen platforms

Connect will focus on five main platforms, should we raise the funding we need: YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, our website, and TikTok, with YouTube being our ‘hero’ channel and the platform across which our main films will be shared.

By focusing on market-driven, targeted and paid media, as well as organic growth, we aim to drive long-term channel and subscriber growth across all our platforms, with a particular focus on our YouTube channel.

Our objectives for each of the platforms would differ, with a core focus on action (inspiring people to act by following the call-to-actions included in the films or write-ups), awareness (both brand awareness for Connect and awareness around the causes and organisations we are featuring) and audience growth and engagement (ensuring that our content is optimised and strategically distributed to secure a sustained following).

YouTube as our hero platform:

It is established
YouTube is an established platform, currently reaching more than 90% of the UK/US population on a range of platforms from mobile to connected TV, with strong analytics to demonstrate its use across different demographics.

YouTube is device-agnostic
While other video-sharing platforms such as TikTok or Instagram, demonstrate a high average watch time across viewers, these platforms are limited in that video content can only be viewed on a mobile device. YouTube is viewed through multiple devices, including CTV (connected TV) with more than 100 million people in the US watching YouTube via their TV screens every month.

The content
YouTube’s algorithm favours watch time – longer-form video content that keeps viewers engaged, which is aligned with the style of content that will be shared on the Connect channel. We have a wealth of experience producing award-winning content to suit this format.

All content and distribution will fall under one cohesive strategy, which means that while YouTube will be our hero platform, the content will also be shared across other platforms, including Instagram and Facebook, with suitable content formats created for each platform and a distribution strategy that marries up each platform to ensure optimum audience development, engagement, enjoyment, and growth.

What we need to get started

We need your help to lay a solid foundation as we establish Connect.

We need to set up Connect and get it moving. We currently have 50 films at Black Bean, and this number continues to grow monthly. These films are ready to share on our YouTube channel and expand our social media presence. Content will be customised for TikTok and Instagram – and short videos shared on these platforms will ‘push’ people to the YouTube channel and encourage them to watch the longer films.

It is also so important that we work to make funding simple and accessible to everyone. This will be executed on TikTok and Facebook (should we have the funding to include all three of these social media platforms in our digital strategy).

We believe the channel will generate substantial revenue after the first three years. By monetising the content we will then need less funding from donors annually.

All revenue made through brand-aligned advertising, the licensing of footage, potential broadcasting of our films, grants made to Connect by the non-profits to assist in content creation – will all go back into running Connect. We will also continually run our Fund a Film campaign – encouraging private individuals and companies to fund a film for a non-profit and in this way help cover costs of content creation.

Connect with us and help us work to protect our natural world, save wildlife from extinction, and support the people who need it most – creating a future where people and wildlife thrive, and live side by side in harmony.

Black Bean Pro Bono Films

The Masi Violin Outreach Project

Lessons In Conservation

Kilo9 Academy

The South African Bone Marrow Registry

Six of South Africa’s Survivors

The Edge of Existence

Matriarchs (Vision trailer)

The Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit

Black Bean Films For Change

The Hunt for Medals, Not Lions

The Malilangwe Scouts

The Wildlife Protector

The Kolisi Foundation (Adidas)

Find out more at connectfoundation.co

Empowers Africa has partnered with Connect Foundation in order to provide a cost-effective solution to fundraising in the United States by acting as their fiscal sponsor. Any donations made here will be granted to Connect Foundation.

Empowers Africa uses Stripe to process credit card donations. Stripe has very stringent security rules which may lead to declined credit card transactions. If you are experiencing trouble processing your donation, kindly contact Nadia Derelieva at (917) 328-1611 or via email: nadia@empowersafrica.org

General Donations

If you do not have any specific project in mind and wish the organization to use their own discretion, please click here.

Donations can also be made by check or wire transfer:

Checks should be made out to “Empowers Africa” and should be mailed to:

Empowers Africa
2 Beekman Place, Ste. 18B
New York, NY 10022
(917) 328-1611

Kindly note in the memo section of the check that funds are for Connect Foundation and indicate a specific program if applicable. Or email us at info@empowersafrica.org.

For wire transfer details or more information, please email us at info@empowersafrica.org.

Empowers Africa has been approved as a U.S. public charity, contributions to which are tax deductible for U.S. federal income tax purposes under Section 501(c)(3) [EIN: 32-0403737] of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

Thank you for your support!