2024 Video Production Fundraiser Strategies:
Ways to stand out from other year end donation
NorthStarr Media Group’s role: Director/Producer
Who is PAWS?
PAWS stands for Pets Are Wonderful Support. This is a San Francisco Based Non-Profit Organization that provides pet food and supply bank, veterinary services, in-home cat care, dog walking, transportation, in-home cat care, emergency foster care dog walking, and more.
Non-profit organizations rely heavily on donations to keep their cause afloat. There are various ways that they go about fundraising; silent auction, crab feeds, and Gala events that incorporate pre-produced video content. PAWS/Shanti have a formal dinner called “Petchitecture”. There is a MC along with entertainment and music that carries the night towards the main event which is the video content that will encourage attendees to support the organization economically.
The 4:30 sec video starts off with an overview about the organization, explained by the program director Katherine D’Amato. She expounds on the idea behind PAWS in 1987 coupled with their current offerings. This set-up is done within 50 sec of the video, in order to provide history and insight from the start. Establishing Pets Are Wonderful Support from a historical context, provides validity and communal roots.
Jesse Crosslin, Lovie, and Taz provide our first glimpse of an actual PAWS’ client (0:53-1:44). The story of how this organization provides a service that helped Taz with extreme pain via his teeth shows the connection Jesse has to his pets, so much so that he is impacted when he sees that his animals are ill. The veterinarian service leg of the organization shows how it doesn’t only improve the health of the animals but provides their owners with peace of mind. This proves that this offering is helpful on two different levels. From 1:40-1:49 Marla Allen provides insight that allows the viewing audience to understand the ways in which “Vet Services” assist from a financial standpoint. The appreciation and admiration for their help emotes from this sound bite. It’s always wise to have someone that has experienced the services as a part of the cast. There is a higher level of validity when supporters can service as testimonials. Think about how often a person checks reviews before making buying decisions, this approach stems from the same school of thought.
At 1:53-2:09 the video explains what’s behind creating a program that spans into various communities, their partnerships, and the goal of helping as many people as possible. This section reveals PAWS’ reach through their relationship which assures donors that funds will service a wide population.
At 2:09-3:27 an interview is conducted with Veterinarian Dr. Kathy Gervais that talks about an increase in vet care during the pandemic and how that impacted the emotional health of veterinarians. Dr. Gervais also sheds light on how and why there is a high rate of suicide amongst vets. Thus, she explains the impact of the Veterinarian Mental Health Initiative. This is a sneak peek into the psyche of some medical professionals. Oftentimes when a pet is going for a visit the concern and care is exclusively for the animals, however, the mental health of doctors never comes to mind. This is a great aspect to highlight because it’s not common knowledge. This can be touted as a “unique factor”. In fact, very few people know about this, by dedicating sound bites about VMGI brings an awareness that many would endorse. People love their pets and if vets aren’t available the ways in which they need to be, then that will ultimately impact the services needed.
From 3:29 to 4:25 reveals how strong of a connection the population that they serve have to their pets. In some cases, it’s the only family that they have. Thus, the bond is strong and needed. For those with medical challenges the animals can provide great support.
This case study uses a video that was produced for the non-profit sector however, there are elements that can be used in other spaces. It all starts with the video’s goal and then focus on casting. Who are the people that can truly drive home the message? Or provide insight coupled with an emotional connection? It’s recommended to craft the writing, in this case the questions so that they are set up to allow the interviewees the lane to lay down the desired road; so much of the success of this style of video relies on the sound bites and an emotional connection. This is the foundation, other components are music, editing, graphics, b-roll (example footage shown currently with the topic being spoken about during an interview) selections and overall style. Psychology is paramount, the first thing one should think about before the camera starts rolling or one word is written is how do you want your viewing audience to feel and then produce the content in that direction.