Sharing Entries For Awards-Part Four, The Fundraising Video

We continue sharing the Greater St. Louis Area Council, Boy Scouts of America’s entries in the National President’s Marketing Awards, a marketing and communications contest held by the National Council of the BSA.

The Friends of Scouting campaign video is submitted in the Finance Support Material category.  (Friends of Scouting is the council’s annual fundraising campaign.) If we are recognized with an award, it goes to Marc Tenholder, a Development Director at the council, and Chuck Voss, a veteran Scouter in Cape Girardeau, Mo., who works in the creative services department at KFVS.

Objectives
The Friends of Scouting campaign video is produced to accomplish a number of objectives:
• Explain how Scouting influences the lives of thousands of young people throughout our council
• Show families of Cub Scouts that more fun and adventure await them if they remain in the program
• Explain how the council is funded
• Show Scouts and volunteers enjoying the program and talking about its value and outcomes
• Ask prospective donors to make a Friends of Scouting contribution

The video is primarily created for use during Friends of Scouting presentations at banquets and other unit gatherings where families will be asked to contribute. The video is posted on the council’s YouTube site so it can be accessed from other websites and e-mail solicitations.

The video was produced in 2011 for use during the 2012 campaign.

Planning
We received positive feedback from the previous year’s video that featured youth members in all levels of the program. We wanted to improve this year’s video by including more ethnic diversity, featuring all council camps and properties, and showing all levels of the Scouting program.

Council staff members used FlipCameras to record interviews and activities taking place at our council camps during the fall. The raw video was cataloged. A script was developed and a rough outline was produced. A member of the council’s marketing committee, who also is a video producer at a television station in the council, reviewed the video, the script and the outline. He performed the editing, sound mixing, and recruited the professional announcer from his television station to perform the voice over.

More than 150 DVDs were produced and distributed to volunteers throughout the council’s 15 geographic districts. The video also was played during the council’s Friends of Scouting kickoff dinner and Executive Board meeting.

Impact
This campaign raises approximately $750,000 each year. To date in 2012, the campaign raised $324,450, which is tracking approximately 5 percent ahead of 2011.

Lessons Learned
Scheduling the editing and production of the video needs particular attention during an election year as our producer communicated to us that his workload will be quite heavy between July and November. We also plan to get more video of Cub Scout day camps and Boy Scout summer camps to better showcase the wide variety of programs and activities made available by Friends of Scouting donations.

We also received some negative feedback on the professional announcer reading the script. Instead of the more polished approach, some believe the script should be read by an articulate older Boy Scout or Venturer.

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