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Old May 11th, 2012, 08:54 AM   #1
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Creative Fundraising Video

I recently completed this video to help a missions group raise money for a ministry vehicle in the Philippines. The Philippine ministry mainly produces vernacular gospel films and distributes Bibles.

VVM Vehicle Project - YouTube
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Old May 12th, 2012, 07:02 AM   #2
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Re: Creative Fundraising Video

I watched your video all the way through and my first impression was that it was a bit too long. The opening scenes (the need for a pickup truck on a farm) took almost 1 1/2 minutes and seemed like it spent too long getting to the point.

Once you got to the Philippines, you began to tell your story, but it still seemed a bit drawn out.

I believe that your central message was to compel the viewer to take action and donate money to pay for a $20K vehicle to replace one that had served faithfully, but appeared in great condition. What was wrong with it? It appeared to be a late 90's or early 2000 model Ford or Mercury SUV. Has it had numerous break-downs, was it in need of costly repairs? Some might understand the need to keep ministry vehicles in top condition but others may say, "Hey, this is a tough economy. I'm not even replacing my vehicle!" Tell me why this vehicle absolutely needs to be replaced ASAP. Can it just be repaired?

If the audience for the video are already VVM supporters then you may be O.K. But if you are reaching out to new donors you may have a tougher time getting new supporters.

Philip - I volunteer and work for non-profit ministries and churches. I know it can be challenging to engage the viewer and tug at their heart enough to get them to write out a check. It sounds like VVM is a wonderful ministry, but I personally was not compelled to write a check.

On a positive note: I thought your opening scenes on the farm were well shot and very creative. The scenes in the Philippines were also very good. My issue is with the length of the video (mostly getting to the story) and lack of moving me from a viewer to a donor.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 04:59 PM   #3
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Re: Creative Fundraising Video

I agree. Some fundamental marketing issues. It's too long, doesn't create enough move to action and has some continuity problems.

- Look at other commercial fundraising/donation videos. They follow a formula because it works. One is, show the pain, twist their heart until it hurts then show how to relieve the pain they feel in their hearts by donating. Show the pain, make them feel it, show how action right now relieves the pain.

- Saying they need $20K is not going to work very well, imo. But, telling the viewer that for only $25, $50, $100 or whatever they can get that new truck and continue helping others.

- The voiceover says he couldn't imagine doing the work without his truck then the video immediately shows a dreamy sequence of him riding on his bike doing just that. That made no sense to me.

GL
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Old May 13th, 2012, 01:44 PM   #4
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Re: Creative Fundraising Video

Sorry Philip - I just realized you posted your video to "Show Your Work" and didn't ask for critique. I do similar type work and always appreciate a few thoughts before I do my final renderings.

I am sure the Missions Group appreciate all your hard work. I've done a few of these as a volunteer and a few for minimal pay. It's always great when you can use your talents to help out a non-profit organization.
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Old May 13th, 2012, 07:18 PM   #5
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Re: Creative Fundraising Video

No problem! I wouldn't have posted it here if I wasn't interested in hearing opinions on it. I appreciate the feedback. I do struggle with length - I lose perspective once I'm 'in' the edit and get kind of emotionally attached to things, so it's good to hear honest outside perspectives.
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Old May 14th, 2012, 09:36 AM   #6
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Re: Creative Fundraising Video

Question for you Tom - Kawika mentioned that the bicycle scene didn't make sense to him. In a moment of inspiration I wrote that in at the last minute and thought that it would help the viewer appreciate the need for a good, reliable, and appropriate vehicle. Many people in the Philippines do rely on substandard vehicles such as bikes and motorcycles, but my hope was to put that in perspective for an American audience - while you could move one seedbag by bicycle, it's ridiculous to try to depend on that to keep your farm running efficiently on schedule. You have to have a truck - a bicycle is just not going to get the job done.

The connection I wanted to make in the viewer's mind was that this is what our Philippine ministry will be forced to rely on if the vehicle is not replaced, and my hope was that the difficult terrain and weather would help make the point that it would not be sufficient over there either.

Ok so remove the issue of length, do you think that picture was painted at all successfully for you? Or is it too specific to a rural audience?

One thing also to keep in mind is that the audience for this video is going to be a typically older generation, and most people watching it will already be supporting or connected to this ministry in some way. Our goal was to highlight this particular project because it's an immediate need. The SUV they use is an older vehicle that is very difficult and expensive to find parts for, and it's falling apart. Not just because of age, though that's a factor (it's around 15-18 years old), but because it's been beat to death in the mountains, which I hoped to illustrate through the archival footage. A major breakage (of which this vehicle has been increasingly known for) in the mountains can be fatal, or at worst can mean several days stranded in remote and dangerous areas.
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Old May 14th, 2012, 11:13 PM   #7
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Re: Creative Fundraising Video

Philip - I actually chuckled at the bicycle scene. I didn't have an issue with it.

For some reason I got the impression the vehicle was circa 2000 Ford or Mercury SUV which is obviously easy to get parts for.

I know from personal experience that some ministries keep newer vehicles than most people do and was a bit concerned. I know we often ask our indigenous ministries what they need and they ALWAYS come up with something.

I guess I saw the rough roads but it wasn't clear to me that their vehicle was in that bad of condition. Most people assume SUV's are built to take rough terrain. Perhaps the hood opened with a worker talking about how much they've had to work on it and how they can't find parts etc...Maybe more scenes of the damaged, beyond repair vehicle and fewer of the rough roads might have helped.

If the video is "preaching to the choir" then you won't have the difficult task of moving them from outsiders to donors. If they are older skeptics then you might want to be ready to explain more about why they desperately need a new (or newer) vehicle.
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