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NBCUniversal Commits to Nonprofit Storytelling

Company Launches Creative Impact Lab, Funding Diverse Agencies to Create Marketing Assets for Nonprofits  

September 19, 2022

NBCUniversal today announced that it has launched the Creative Impact Lab, a new initiative that focuses the company’s social purpose on nonprofit storytelling and provides opportunities for apprentices from diverse backgrounds to hone their production skills. The goal of the Lab is to shine a light on the individual positive social impact of nonprofits, and to help the next generation of content creators break into the media industry and learn the trade.

“It is critical for nonprofits to visually illustrate their impact through personal, human stories,” said Hilary Smith, Executive Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility. “Powerful marketing can help drive recruitment and serve as a fundraising tool. By giving diverse students unique assignments to create these assets under NBCU employees’ mentorship, the Creative Impact Lab is providing value on multiple levels.”

As part of this effort, NBCUniversal has forged partnerships with numerous creative nonprofit organizations across the U.S, which operate as agencies and are comprised of student apprentices from under-resourced communities, many of whom aspire to be filmmakers, producers, directors, editors, or writers. These include: Spy Hop, Youth Design Center, RE:IMAGINE, PhillyCAM, Reel Works, Youth FX, Wide Angle Youth Media, and Free Sprit Media.

Each of the creative nonprofits will receive a grant from NBCUniversal to produce short marketing videos and PSAs for select NBCUniversal and Comcast nonprofit partners, including Minds Matter Southern California, L.A. Works, America On Tech, Cradles to Crayons, Cxmmunity, StartOut, and Per Scholas Philadelphia.

These marketing assets will receive exposure on the platforms of Comcast NBCUniversal through advertising inventory and the companies’ digital and streaming platforms.

“Our success largely depends on our ability to communicate our impact. The Creative Impact Lab has given us the gift of storytelling, with high-quality content and promotion that will help us foster more access and equity in the tech sector,” said Jessica Santana, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, America On Tech.

The Lab will also provide valuable training and mentoring to the creative nonprofits, thanks to a cohort of NBCUniversal volunteers who will serve on the company’s newly formed “Creative Council.” Employees in creative roles across the business from News to Sports to Entertainment to Ad Sales have stepped up to be mentors to the apprentices on each storytelling project. 

“The Creative Impact Lab has given our apprentices a truly meaningful assignment – to work under the guidance of NBCUniversal experts and have the opportunity to tell compelling stories about nonprofit organizations that are making a positive difference,” said John Williams, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Reel Works. “The entire experience is mutually beneficial, and we are grateful to be a part of this initiative.”

Below are links to three newly completed Creative Impact Lab projects:

  • PhillyCAM brought the story to life for Cradles to Crayon’s Giving Factory Direct, a unique program that helps fulfill the needs of clothing-insecure children by connecting donors to kids. HERE
  • Reel Works showed the inroads that America On Tech is making by broadening access to degrees and careers in technology. HERE
  • Spy Hop focused on TikTok distribution to help L.A. Works drive increased volunteerism in the Los Angeles community. HERE

The Creative Impact Lab is a part of NBCUniversal’s corporate social responsibility brand Comcast NBCUnites. Through volunteerism, storytelling, and empowering the next generation of content creators from diverse backgrounds, Comcast NBCUnites supports NBCUniversal’s commitment to equity and access in society, in our industry, and within our own company. Comcast NBCUnites partners with over 45 nonprofits, and has engaged over 30,000 employees in volunteer opportunities and worked with over 18,000 students from under-resourced communities to date.