As a sector, the non-profit community have perhaps not always been ahead of the curve in their communication efforts. But with the boom in social media seeing no sign of abating, and the way we consume content increasingly moving toward a multi-media, multi-channel experience, charities have had to rethink their approach to promoting engagement.

“We’re operating in a world where one good video can lead to a massive social following” – Mike Henry

Now trends are shifting, and many organisations are grabbing the opportunities afforded by low production costs and easy to access platforms to share and promote their causes via film – Youtube, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, and crowdfunding platforms such as Indiegogo to name but a few – and reaping the rewards of such innovation.

Simon Burton, co-founder of the Charity Film Awards says: “In the digital age video is more important than ever, and charities throughout the UK, large and small, are finding increasingly compelling and creative ways to tell their stories and get their message across using the power of video.” He has set up the award ceremony with Jo Tyler and Charlotte Parham “to celebrate and draw attention to wonderful and creative films from charities.”

With the help of a cutting-edge creative agency DUDE we are proud to admit we have well and truly jumped on the bandwagon, producing a convention-breaking film that plays on the tropes of the, predominately tech-related, crowdfunding films commonly found on Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

By breaking the mould of traditional charity fundraising messaging, with a satirical tone delivered by those receiving our support, we found ourselves able to engage with a much broader audience and in a different way than would have been possible otherwise: we not only blew our crowdfunding target but caught the media’s attention and started up a dialogue with pledgers from across the world.
https://player.vimeo.com/video/185034845

And it seems our hard work did not go unnoticed – going up against hundreds of entries we are thrilled the #backourvalley campaign made it through the first gauntlet of a voting round and judging panel and has been shortlisted for the awards!

Co-founder Simon said: “Congratulations Communities For Development on being a Finalist. Over 375 charities entered the inaugural awards and the quality of the entries were outstanding. To get through the public vote and judging stage is a great achievement in itself for all our Finalists and we wish you luck at the Awards Ceremony!”

“I don’t know how many times I may have seen this video now”, said Communities for Development co-founder Iñigo Ruiz-Apilanez, “but it doesn’t matter. Every time I see it, it makes me smile. This video and its campaign reflects exactly the spirit of the Bulambuli Valley as well as the attitude of all of the people that form Communities for Development. I am still amazed DUDE were able to capture all these things and express them in such an incredible and unique way.”

In addition to being in the running for a main prize, our campaign film is also eligible for the People’s Choice Award – 60,000 people have already voted but there are a few days left until the extended deadline of 5pm Monday 13th. Results will then be announced at the prestigious BAFTA venue on Wednesday 15th March with British veteran of UK comedy Sally Phillips as host.

Of course it’s not all about the winning and just being part of this process has been a fantastic way to find out about all the other amazing charity films out there and have a chance for our video to be seen by even more people. But while we are still in with a chance…do get voting and sharing and help more of the world hear about the entrepreneurs of Bulambuli Valley!

By Sarah Bradbury. First published on the Huffington Post and Communities for Development blog on 10th March 2017. For more information about the Charity Film Awards or to vote, please visit this link.

#BackOurValley

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