The Charity Film Awards (en)
  • Social celebration

Why video and film is such an important tool for charities

Charity and not for profit organisations have, in recent years, suffered from increasing financial pressures due to the economic downturn and subsequent austerity measures by many governments. Undoubtedly, with government aid and social care funding being cut, there is also an increasing demand for charities to fill the gaps for those in need.

At the same time, charities are struggling to generate income from corporate donations as most businesses are also feeling the pinch. Therefore, it is essential for charities to ensure that each pound spent achieves a measured return on investment. As a result, the marketing and communications budget is bound to be subject to higher than ever levels of scrutiny.

Where many corporate organisations will easily make broad marketing budget cuts, charities who rely heavily on promotion to raise donations or whose primary purpose is to raise awareness, are at risk of total failure if promotion and communication campaigns become fruitless as a result.

Fortunately, in the age of social media there are cheaper and often more effective ways to spread word, particularly for charities who have a large number of advocates who will share messages far and wide. Making social media messages more engaging to a wide range of different audiences can be a challenge, but if a photo can say a thousand words, then how much more can be achieved with a short piece of film?

What’s more, it no longer costs a fortune to create. With over 70% of adults in the UK owning a smart phone and free editing and distribution tools easily available online, there is nothing to stop eager marketing executives becoming film producers in their own right.

In fact, it could be even more effective if you can create a viral video campaign where the public creates the content – like the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS which generated over $100m. The ALS Ice Bucket Campaign has made an enormous difference with numerous research discoveries directly attributed to the funds raised through that specific campaign.

What is less measurable, is the awareness created through a campaign that reached millions of people all over the world and what the multiplier effect of raised awareness will create in the future? Tracking the number of views on YouTube, Vimeo or Google Analytics for a single video is fairly straight forward, but for viral campaigns where the content can be hosted by anyone on a wide range of platforms including internal intranets and purely live fundraising events is much more difficult to decipher. The level of PR through more traditional methods as a spin off effect should be underestimated either.

Whether it’s a fundraising challenge, a serious safety message or learning from the mistakes of history; the world of film undoubtedly has the power to emote feelings, inspire, incite to action, excite and change behaviour.

Take a look at the entries for the Charity Film Awards to see the many inspiring ways that messages are being conveyed through education, true stories, animation and humour to achieve incredible results –

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Supported by

Promote - Donate - Celebrate

Increased exposure for charity video content

Donations made directly to good causes throughout the campaign

Celebrating the success of film in fundraising