Many private schools hold fundraising events and lectures throughout the year. One of the reasons for such events is the schools are trying to get support in the community. It’s a great idea to produce a film for these types of events in order to deepen the relationship between the school and the community – which in turn translates to raising more funds. But the issue is that schools pass on the creation of their videos to “videographers”. Videographers then will produce a nice little piece about the “academic excellence”, the “unique atmosphere” and “the special caring for the students” that the school offers. Once you have seen these videos from one school, you have seen them from all other schools.
If we establish that donations are given from a place of being emotionally touched by what an institution does, then this is not the ideal approach in order to get more funds coming in.
Missing A Great Opportunity To Stand Out – For Real
Running events like this holds a great opportunity to really stand out and distinguish the school from its competitors on an emotional level.
Kohelet Yeshiva High School near Philadelphia is such a case. They were running an event where Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks was invited to lecture and present his new book Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence. A highly emotional and touchy subject any way you look at it. Kohelet commissioned us to create a complete film marketing campaign; the first in the series was a film for that particular lecture.
While we only had 2 weeks between inking the deal with Kohelet, and the showing of the film at the lecture, we got to work right away and came up with a concept that would both showcase Kohelet’s amazing work in education, and properly honor their distinguished guest.
See, most videos being produced for school gala events and lectures are only related to the school, and not to a theme, a motto, or an emotional concept. We decided to take the problem that Rabbi Sacks presents in his book, that of religion being used as a tool and justification for acts of darkness and destruction, and show how Kohelet does the opposite and uses its educational approach in Judaism as a tool for bringing light into the world.
The way we created the theme is by reading Rabbi Sacks’s book and collecting relevant quotes that relate to Kohelet’s mission. The goal was to show a global problem that can be solved by a school like Kohelet locally.
Our audience knows that there is a lot of darkness out there; we presented Kohelet as the local solution to this global problem.
I wanted to make this film very emotional and thought-provoking, and the response has been unbelievable.
Rabbi Sacks, after watching it at the kick-off of his lecture noted: “I couldn’t have put my message better into a video like this. I’m almost made speechless, and that’s very hard to do to a rabbi.”
A successful film campaign is only called successful when the goal that we set is reached. In this case we wanted people to talk about and remember the name Kohelet. It created a splash in the Jewish community of Philadelphia, and this is just the beginning of the campaign.
It is important if you create a video for an event or a gala that it’s related to the topic or theme you are featuring. Additionally, it should be emotional by design, rather than informational. Donations are not given because you gave someone the right information. Donations are given when people are emotionally attached to the non-profit brand.
I think this film accomplished this goal very well.