Case Study: DIY Video for Fundraising – Epworth Children and Family Services

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CN Video Production and Epworth Children & Family Services

Introduction

Epworth Children & Family Services is a non-profit organization that helps at-risk children in 4 ways:

  • Family abuse counseling
  • Emergency foster care
  • Placement for homeless teens
  • Education/career counseling for teens aging out of state custody

They were preparing for a fundraising event and needed an effective way to communicate their mission, vision, and values with limited resources and funds.

Challenge

For their largest fundraising night of the year, Epworth wanted to create a visual showcase of one of their recent success stories. During this annual event they typically include a presentation to highlight the year’s milestones, to engage attendees and encourage donations.

Organizers were planning a slide show that incorporated images and video clips they had taken of Justin’s success story. However, they found it very challenging to really tell the story from a PowerPoint presentation. They reached out to CN Video for help within their tight timeframe and budget.

CN Video got the vision of what we were looking for. They understood what our intention was and the story we were telling.

Solution

CN Video offers a cost-effective DIY option for creating video. The client provides footage and other materials such as cell phone video, slideshows, photos, audio, etc. Then a professional looking video is created based on the client’s vision and instructions.

In Epworth’s case, the materials they provided were polished by CN Video, and advice was provided on a better way to record some of the narration that ultimately improved the quality of the video. CN Video created a quality, affordable presentation video that Kevin and Epworth were excited to share at their event and beyond.

The video had a direct impact on how much we raised that night, but it had a lingering effect on how people felt about Epworth.

Results and Conclusion

The Epworth team saw the effectiveness of the video when it grabbed everyone’s attention during the event. No one talked through the presentation as they had in previous years. Donor Relations received multiple compliments on the video long after the event was over.

The video made a powerful statement by clearly communicating the successes and struggles at the heart of Epworth’s work. By choosing a combination of DIY video and CN Video’s professional editing, they were able to dramatically increase the success of their fundraiser while staying within their budget.

View the case study as a PDF.

Behavioral Interviewing and the STAR Method of Answering Interview Questions

About Behavioral Interviewing and the STAR Method

Behavioral Interviewing is a popular method for finding the right fit for an organization. The basic premise is that the most accurate predictor of future performance is understanding past performance in a similar situation. It focuses on experiences, behaviors, knowledge, skills and abilities that are job related.

The STAR method provides a logical approach to answering questions by describing one of your past successes in responding to the question.

What is STAR

STAR = Situation – Task – Action – Results

Situation 
Describe the situation that you were in (what was the problem you needed to solve).  This can be from a previous job, volunteer experience or any other relevant event in your personal life. Make sure you describe a specific event or situation, not a generalized description. Give enough detail for the interviewer to understand.

Task 

What was the task that you needed to accomplish (the solution to the problem)

Action

Describe the action you took and be sure to keep the focus on you. Even if you are discussing a group project or effort, describe what you did — not the efforts of the team. Don’t tell what you might do, tell what you did.

Results you achieved
What happened? What was the outcome? What did you learn? Discuss how the task was successful as a result of your action.

This gives the interviewer a story that tells them about you and what kind of employee you are, which is much  more powerful than just telling them.

Different Video Resume Styles

Today’s topic… Video Resume Styles.

I get a lot of questions about different styles and features for video resumes so I’ve broken it down to 3 categories (really 2, but we’ll call it 3).

1. Standard
2. Interview
3. Custom

The Standard video resume is basically a person (typically head & shoulders) telling about themselves. This usually includes an introduction (your 20 second elevator pitch), a minute or so about your experience and skills, a short summary (why they should hire you), and your contact information.

The Interview style is different, in that the video is more like a conversation. You have someone either on or preferably off camera asking standard interview questions like “Tell me a little about yourself”, and “What is your favorite accomplishment and why”. The subject then answers the questions much like they would in a job interview, only with the benefit of knowing the questions in advance and having the opportunity to do re-takes. :)

The Custom video resume is very similar to the standard video resume in that the subject typically recites a script (pretty much the same as described above). However, portions of the script are used as a voice over, while a photo montage and/or additional video clips are used to showcase what the subject is saying.

There are also features that are often used in a video resume, such as background music (great if you lack enthusiasm in your tone of voice), green screen background images (adds some pizzaz that you don’t get with a plain background), scrolling summary (perfect for emphasizing your credentials if you have a lot of experience), displaying contact information (a must for everyone) and many others.

So what’s the best style for you?

Recent graduates or those who have less on the job experience in the field of work they’re applying for do well with a standard video resume. Discuss organizations, projects and other accomplishments. Throw in a few features for something really impressive.

People who have more experience or do creative work would do best to create a more custom video resume with video clips and a photo montage that showcases skills and accomplishments.

Anyone having difficulty coming up with a script they like, or prefer to talk about their projects and accomplishments (that can’t very easily be shown with photographs), would benefit from the interview style video resume. This gives them the opportunity to talk about and describe their accomplishments in a conversation style setting.

Regardless of what style you go with, ALWAYS remember to thank the viewer for taking the time to watch.

I hope this helps.