In the Cosmic produced BYUtv show Making Good, host Kirby Heyborne gets his hands dirty working with charities across the country and learns what it takes to make good. As Making Good aims to highlight non-profits across the nation, this is how Cosmic Story Producer, Sebastian Meyer, brings these non-profit’s stories to life.
COSMIC: Describe your general process in sourcing stories for the show.
SM: Most often, I start finding new Making Good stories by thinking about what we haven’t done yet. Is there somewhere new we can go? Is there a group of people whose stories we haven’t heard yet? And is there something new for Kirby to try? New Making Good stories are often a combination of all of these aspects. Sometimes I’ll look for all kinds of stories in a new city, or I’ll have an idea in mind of something for Kirby to do, then I’ll look in a particular part of the country for groups focused on that sort of thing. Then it’s mostly a lot of emails, phone calls, and ideas going back and forth!
COSMIC: What tools do you find the most helpful when sourcing stories?
SM: Luckily, people who run non-profits are some of the hardest working and most diligent people out there, so they’re not afraid to get their organization on as many websites and social media platforms as possible. That’s a huge help to me when I’m trying to find and get to know new organizations. Keeping up a solid Instagram means I get to see the kind of activities an organization is doing, who is involved, how frequent events are happening, etc. I especially love when an organization has a fun, colorful ,and engaging Instagram.
COSMIC: What are the top 3 things you look for in non-profits for the show?
SM: There are three main focuses of a Making Good episode: the first is the people involved. As much as we love great organizations, we love great people even more. And oftentimes, those two go hand in hand. We always look for passionate, driven people who just want to make a difference in the world, however big or small.
The second focus is Kirby’s dirty job. It’s always fun to see Kirby get in over his head in something, so I look for activities and hard work that really show off what the non-profit does. Running a non-profit organization is a lot more than just board meetings and phone calls; so many of these organizations run events, volunteer days, drives, etc. This part of the show is so fun, but also so important as it shows off how hard it is to run a great non-profit.
Finally, we look for the “big finish”. This is an event or achievement that really just shows off the organization at it’s very best. It’s the “north star” of the show, as it’s something for the story of the episode to point towards. It can be emotional, funny, exciting, etc. It’s an opportunity to show exactly what the organization does, and how they make a difference.
COSMIC: What’s the biggest challenge(s) that comes with finding stories?
SM: One of the biggest challenges is just seeing how many great stories are out there! There are people all over the country that are doing amazing things, and unfortunately we just can’t show each and every one of them. I’ve been very lucky to be able to read about, talk to, and work with so many great people and organizations, whether they end up on the show or not. Talking to people who are making positive changes in their community is so inspiring, and one of the best parts of working on the show.
COSMIC: If someone has an idea for a non-profit to be featured on MG, what’s the best way to get that info to us?
SM: A great way to get in touch is to interact with us on our social media pages! We often look at comments on posts to find great new stories for the show.
If you know a non-profit making good in your community you’d like to see on your tv screen, don’t hesitate to share them with the Cosmic team, and don’t forget to watch Making Good Wednesdays 7:30 ET / 4:30 PT on BYUtv.