SOURCE: Widen Enterprises, Inc.

Widen Enterprises, Inc.

April 26, 2016 10:00 ET

Awana Selects Widen Media Collective to Manage Digital Assets

Global Children and Youth Ministry Nonprofit Implements Digital Asset Management Solution Share Stories of Impact

MADISON, WI--(Marketwired - April 26, 2016) - Awana, a global, nonprofit ministry that works with millions of children, parents, and church leaders, has selected the Widen Media Collective for its digital asset management (DAM) needs. Awana will use Widen's cloud-based DAM solution to store and share photos and other digital media files that help tell the story of the work they do around the world.

John Walton, Manager of Global Stories at Awana, was well aware of the challenges his organization faced when it came to keeping track of its digital files. As a photographer, he himself has captured and collected tens of thousands of photos during the two decades he's worked with Awana. He was also spending a lot of his time fielding questions about how to find this photo or that video file.

Like many nonprofits, Awana necessarily keeps a close eye on its budget and initially resisted funding a new DAM system. But when Walton conducted an informal survey of staff and found that they were spending nearly 40 hours each week searching for photos for various projects, executives got a better understanding of the enterprise-wide problem and supported the team in finding a solution.

"Once we started thinking in those terms, then we started getting everyone on board," Walton says. "Everything is going digital, so we need to have these things more readily available, and we need to be able to find them quickly."

Walton is part of a new department that is working to improve how staff around the world access what they need to do their work, from the latest budgets and statistics, to stories and testimonials. Tom Chilton, Director of the new Strategic Information Center, says their first job is to centralize all of those assets.

"Our organization has grown so rapidly over the last three years that, to get the kind of information we need to make the decisions the organization needs to make, we need a place where everybody can access information," he explains. "We really needed to start with a tool that would allow us to warehouse that information."

Walton began doing some research. His top priority was finding a DAM system that would be easy to search and accessible for users with varying computer abilities. Price was also a deciding factor. After reading several white papers about DAM system options, and finding Widen's name in many of them, he reached out for more information. He was impressed by the knowledge of the sales advisor and that the entire team could answer questions on the spot. Walton says he's also excited about the scope of features the Widen system has to offer, like converting videos on the fly.

"For me, the icing on the cake was that I could take a photo release document and attach it to a photo, or attach a transcript to a video interview," he says. "You're trying to find stuff all the time, you know?"

The asset management system will be used by members of Awana's Global Ministry Advancement Team for use in development, as well as the Ministry Resources team, which handles marketing and creative services.

They know that sharing the positive stories of the work their volunteer leaders do all over the world can make a big difference, so it's important to make those assets easily available to donor representatives, as well. They want to train their hundreds of global staff members as field contributors, so they can snap photos or videos in places like Kenya, Zimbabwe, or Nepal and upload them directly to the DAM.

"We're gathering assets so that our marketing team can create stories," Walton says. "Our global media collective is a one-stop shop for finding information to communicate our story to the rest of the world."

"The team at Awana came to Widen knowing a strong content strategy and delivery of digital assets would help drive their global initiatives," said Craig Bollig, Senior Advisor with Widen. "The group had a vision for how they could overcome their current challenges with the right technology and team. It's wonderful to see the Media Collective is now a foundation for that change and will be part of the greater story for Awana and its mission."

About Awana

Awana is a global, nonprofit ministry with fully integrated evangelism and long-term discipleship programs for ages 2 to 18 that actively involves parents and church leaders. Each week, more than 3 million children and youth, 350,000 volunteers, and 260 field staff take part in Awana in over 40,000 churches around the world. Offered through local churches, Awana reaches kids where they're at and walks alongside them in their faith journey.

About Widen Enterprises, Inc.

Widen is a marketing technology company that powers the content that builds your brand. Leveraging cloud-based resources, Widen delivers configurable, scalable, and cost-effective digital asset management solutions to help you easily store, search, and share your digital content. Organizations of all sizes use Widen's SaaS DAM solution, the Media Collective, to streamline their marketing and creative workflows and make their content work harder. Widen is trusted by hundreds of thousands of users around the world at organizations like LG, Roche, Trek, Cornell University, New Orleans Tourism Marketing, The Atlanta Falcons, Red Gold Tomatoes, Electrolux, and Yankee Candle. To learn more about Widen, go to

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