Today I saw a commercial created by the Salvation Army called “Amazing Grace.” What a moving video that really tugs on the heart! If you haven’t seen it, I suggest you search it out on You Tube. But of course, we have all seen touching videos that have moved us before. Think back to events in our history that have been seared in our minds. How did those images affect you? Video footage motivates us, impacts our lives, and causes us to buy things, go places, or serve our country. I can still picture 18-month old “Baby Jessica” McClure, who captured the nation’s attention when she tumbled into an old well in her aunt’s backyard. Do you remember a single Chinese man standing alone to block a line of tanks heading down Tiananmen Square, or the coverage of the attempted rescue of the miners in the collapsed mine in Sago, West Virginia, or of course, September 11th footage? People responded to all these events with amazing donations or even joined the military. Some even found a way to get there and volunteer in such large numbers that many times they were turned away. They wanted to DO something. Don’t you remember that feeling? What incredible responses to the images that capture our mind. Nothing motivates us as well as seeing it for ourselves. Think of the late night TV commercials for organizations that feed children in Africa. I bet that you can picture one of those children now. When it snows in Denver during a nationally televised game, calls making reservations at the Colorado ski resorts go up 50 percent. Using a simple two minute video does influence your audience in a similar way and cause larger results at your next benefit auction.
So can a charity organization utilize this effective tool in an economical way? Definitely! Auctioneers work with many companies that make professional videos for this purpose. If you are on a tight budget, a self-made video is better than none at all. You Tube is filled with amateur videos that are forwarded around the world. Hundred of millions of videos are watched daily and hundreds of thousands of videos are uploaded daily. In fact, every 60 seconds that goes by, 10 hours of new video footage is put on You Tube. Your video does not have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t need special equipment. These days, most digital cameras are equipped with video capability and there are many tips online that will have you creating your own video in minutes. It can be as basic as a few moving still pictures with or without a simple song in the background that tells a story about what your organization has done. Or it could be a heart-warming testimonial.
Seeing is believing. Make your donors feel that they are a part of the larger picture rather than just sitting in their seats. It is another important and easy tool to bring to your next fundraising auction. Your guests will feel those same feelings we have all felt and raise their hands, saying “count me in.”