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Old February 4th, 2008, 05:09 PM   #1
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How should I approach a non-profit for assistance?

I'd like to shoot a documentary about one specific child that attended a camp for crippled children. The camp is a non-profit, and I need names, addresses, phone numbers etc., of the campers that attended there, as well as counselors that had worked there.

The timeline for this, was back in the '70's, and it would be really difficult for me to try and locate them some 30+ years later. Although I do have a list of ALL the counselors, and campers from that year, (minus phone numbers), all of my attempts to locate them have been unsuccessful.

Should I approach the camp, and offer a percentage of profits, if they were to accomadate me, or should I use some of these 'on-line' services that I've seen on the Net?

I've come across several sites that will provide you public records of individuals for a certain fee, but I am skeptical, because I don't believe the record search would go back that far.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated...
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Old February 4th, 2008, 05:22 PM   #2
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I would tell them what your doing, without offering money. It cant hurt to ask. maybe they would be willing to help. you can always donate to them later, but in my opinion, to be contractually obligated can be difficult. once an offer of money is made, you can never get less than your initial offer.
strictly my opinion.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 08:55 AM   #3
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I expect you're going to run into a stone wall due to privacy issues and any offer of a donation in exchange merely makes it all the more suspect. There may be exceptions for some public sector employees but AFAIK employment records are not considered public information and without a court order requiring their release the camp organization would be very exposed to lawsuit if they made them available to you. As for the client records, they too would be private information and since the camp was specifically for crippled children I would expect them to be considered confidential medical records. You're in much the same position as you would be if you were calling up a hospital and requesting the names and phone numbers of everyone who had an appendectomy in the past year.

Such a camp would most likely draw its clients from a rather limited geographic area - how about running some ads in the local newspapers to the effect of "Documentary film producer is attempting to locate people who attended Camp OhMyGodThatSunburnHurts between 1970 and 1980. If you or a member of your family attended, please call xxx.xxx.xxxx."
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Last edited by Steve House; February 5th, 2008 at 01:30 PM.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 01:02 PM   #4
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Steve is exactly right, and considering the PITA it will surely be to connect with and get permission to film those folks, you might see if there is a more practical way you can tell the same story.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 02:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
how about running some ads in the local newspapers to the effect of "Documentary film producer is attempting to locate people who attended Camp OhMyGodThatSunburnHurts between 1970 and 1980. If you or a member of your family attended, please call xxx.xxx.xxxx."
Thanks Steve..good advise. If/when I come up with a good solution, I'll post here to forums, and provide others in same dilemma, a possilbe solution. Happy Mardi Gras!
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