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How Media Raises Fundraising.

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By Avis Richards, CEO and Founder, Birds Nest Foundation

Few forces can equal the power of media in today’s global society. Whether it be on the big screen, at a film festival, a Public Service Announcement, televised news (and its variants including investigative reporting and news-entertainment shows), or for in-house use, we’re a society that now necessitates video content. In turn,video content is the fastest, and most efficient way to spread information, to educate, and to raise awareness.

A couple of years ago, technology revolutions began to upend the film industry. Cheaper cameras, the shift from celluloid to digital media, and the development of internet-based distribution democratized the industry, and the cost to make a video fell dramatically. This democratization has led to an explosion of new media from every cat owner to amateur filmmaker. That’s when I first saw an opportunity to work with charities to help them develop a voice…

Charities are benefitting not only from the digital revolution, but also the newer social media revolution. The advent of these tools allows charities to interact with each other, grow donors, and dialogue with the public in ways never thought possible.

Back in November we used Pinterest to conduct our  “Charities Take Flight” Pin It to Win It contest. Any charity was invited to create a Pinterest board that expressed their organization and mission. Four finalists were chosen, with the winner being whichever charity garnered the most “Likes” on Facebook. After several weeks of grueling self-promotion, even the charities that didn’t win were able to greatly increase their awareness.

With a core group of tireless parents and dedicated victims, an organization dedicated to treatment and cure of a childhood disease was able to garner over 1,000 Facebook “Likes” in a two-week period and win the contest. The charity is a small, tightly-knit group that focuses its resources on a little known, underdiagnosed disease. It was the perfect example of a non-profit that badly needed a voice in promoting their cause. We were happy to provide that voice, and we’re nearly finished with production.

Before the contest, we had never heard of this charity and they had never heard of Birds Nest Foundation. But this social media revolution was able to create a new cross-partnership between us, and strengthen both of our organizations. We’re only just beginning to understand the networking and cooperative possibilities of these new tools, but the future already looks brighter.

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