We know that the impact you and other nonprofits make on the world didn’t happen just in 2012. Reaching a single goal or milestone can sometimes take years.  That is why we’re so excited to share in your journey and milestones -- milestones like WITNESS, reaching 20 years of bringing human rights violations to the world’s eyes.

WITNESS, an organization that uses video and storytelling to open the world’s eyes to human rights violations, spurring public engagement and policy change, began in 1992. Musician and human rights advocate Peter Gabriel joined together with Human Rights First and Rebook Human Rights Foundation to co-found WITNESS.

Since the organization’s creation, they have operated at the nexus of human rights and technology, helping millions of ordinary citizens around the world speak the truth to those in power through tools like video cameras and the Internet. In that goal, WITNESS has partnered with more than 300 human rights groups in 80-plus countries, trained over 3,000 human rights defenders, developed widely used training materials and tools for video creation and safety, created the first dedicated online platform for human rights media (the HUB), and included video in over 100 campaigns.

And how did they do it? Using Google products has helped them stay organized and generate awareness. For years, Google Apps have helped traveling staff stay updated and coordinated with Gmail and Google calendar. Google Docs has enabled them to coordinate on everything from blog posts to media lists.

Among other awareness initiatives, WITNESS has also created a branded YouTube channel with millions of views and thousands of subscribers. They created an extensive new channel on YouTube dedicated to Human Rights, with partner Storyful.

Other Google products like AdWords, Maps, Analytics and Google+ have connected WITNESS with people around the world and streamline their operations. Communication manager at WITNESS, Matisse Bustos Hawkes put it like this “Google for Nonprofits has helped us distribute compelling content while also streamlining our day-to-day business operations, all at no charge, that kind of contribution really can’t be underestimated.”

Want to learn more about WITNESS? Check out the full case study on the Google for Nonprofits site here or join them on their Google+ Page. They’re hosting a series of Hangouts to celebrate their 20 year anniversary.

Want more case studies? They’re one of our favorite resources to share how nonprofits are using Google for Nonprofits to increase their reach and impact. Check out all of them here. If you’re interested in sharing your story, tell us here and, of cours
e, share it with us on our Google+ page using #OurImpact in your post.

Posted by Katie Kellogg and the Google for Nonprofits team