How to Host a GENERATION FOUND Film Screening and Raise Funds for Your Organization

Addiction Recovery Youth Revolution

Thank you for interest in our important documentary, GENERATION FOUND!

Since nine out ten of the 22 million Americans suffering from addiction started using as teenagers, and overdoses are now the leading cause of death for young people under 35, now is the time for a revolution.  GENERATION FOUND  aims to catalyze a dialogue on youth addiction and recovery issues across the globe starting with your community.

GENERATION FOUND is a powerful story about one community coming together to ignite a youth addiction recovery revolution in their hometown. Devastated by an epidemic of addiction, Houston faced the reality of burying and locking up its young people at an alarming rate. And so in one of the largest cities in America, visionary counselors, law school dropouts, aspiring rock musicians, retired football players, oil industry executives, and church leaders came together to build the world’s largest peer-driven youth and family recovery community.

Independently filmed over the course of two years, GENERATION FOUND takes an unprecedented and intimate look at how a system of treatment centers, sober high schools, alternative peer groups, and collegiate recovery programs can exist in concert to intervene early and provide a real and tested long-term alternative to the “War on Drugs.” It is not only a deeply personal story, but one with real-world utility for communities struggling with addiction worldwide.

GENERATION FOUND and Gathr Films

The film has teamed up with independent film distributor Gathr® Filmsto make bringing GENERATION FOUND to your local theater easier than ever! As pioneers of Theatrical On Demand®, Gathr® uses documentaries to galvanize local communities around social impact and political action, while championing a renaissance of theatre-going.

What is Theater on Demand? Theatrical On Demand® screenings are not just another trip to the movies. They are community events that have the ability to change how an entire community thinks about an issue or movement.

Unlike other events you might have hosted in the past Gathr Films will handle all of the logistics for you. You don’t have to worry about whether the projector will work or if there are enough chairs or refreshments. All you need to do is rally your community to reserve tickets and then get ready to turn your screenings’ attendees into donors or fundraisers themselves.

We have learned from experience that individual reactions and emotional connection to a film is increased dramatically when they are sitting in a packed movie theater watching a well-crafted film about something they are passionate about on the big screen. The key to turning your screening into a fundraiser is harnessing that excitement and passion.

 So how do you turn your screening into a fundraiser?

  1. Make it easy for attendees to donate online. We have built a tool that allows individuals to include a donation to specific organizations when they go to reserve a ticket to a screening of one of our films. You can have your organization use a screening to collect donation by simply signing up to host you own screening and let us know which organization you with to collect donations for. Gathr Films will handle everything else for you.screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-9-54-20-am
  2. Make a well-articulated “ask.” This is the most important step. You must ask! Describe in one sentence how the event will help achieve that goal. Be as specific as possible. “Our event helps the homeless” is not nearly as compelling as “your participation in our event will put 50 dinners on the table next week.”
  •   Most importantly, get comfortable with asking “Will you help support us by donating?”
  •   Provide specific instructions to your participants to help turn them into successful fundraisers. For example, instead of asking participants to “raise money,” ask “Will you ask ten of your friends to donate to you?” This also means that participants need to be equipped with training and tools to improve their skill in asking others for support on your behalf.
  •   Create an “ask” that is specific, concise, tailored to a defined outcome and hard to refuse! On one recent project we were able to nearly double the number of emails that participants sent to their donors simply by making sure we asked the right question.
  1. Make an effort to connect face to face with attendees and potential donors before and after your screening. Use your screening as an opportunity to talk one to one with members of your community, answer their questions and highlight some of the local successes you or your organization have had. People want to invest in their backyard and local community and communicating face to face with individuals is a great way to remind them that the issues in the film are not isolated to the other cities or can only be found on a national level, they are local and you are there to help make an impact locally.
  2. Recruit from friends, family or community members to pass out literature, help you get attendees to join your mailing list or collect donations as people leave the theater. Some theaters have tables available that you can secure, contact Gathr and they will request one from the theater directly, or if there is no table available have someone ready to stand by the entrance/exit of the theater. Have a signup form that attendees fill out so you can email them with a request for donations after your screening.
  3. Focus on Follow-Through. The event isn’t really over when it’s over. You should have collected names of every person who attended, some of whom are probably friends of friends who have never really supported or even known much about your organization before. Now is your chance to engage with them. Give them a call or other form of contact, and find out what interests them and whether there’s a way they might become further involved with your organization
  4. Think of who your are soliciting to attend your screening. Segment your screening attendees and tailor your efforts accordingly. Attendees come in all shapes and sizes, and each person has different motives and needs. Because your screening supporters and attendees are not the same, your communication shouldn’t be! Too often in events every participant is treated as a cardboard cutout. Using a film screening as a fundraising opportunities involves some important efforts to speak differently to different constituencies:
  • Understand the differences in your screening audience.
  • As you build the program, think in audience segments! Once you have identified the segments, make sure that you tailor your communication efforts accordingly.
  1. Don’t wait till the night of the screening. Implement an active, customized communication plan leading up to your screening. In many cases, the difference between events with high attendance and events with high fundraising attendance is the frequency and the quality of the communication participants receive prior to the event. Your communication plan should combine a well-articulated ask and segmented content in a powerful, cohesive effort.
  • The rise of online fundraising tools makes participant communication much easier.
  • Targeted, personal outreach after your screening can be an effective way of building rapport with your more involved participants. The key is “targeted” – using your participant segments to identify those groups more likely to respond to the sound of your voice.
  • Champions and mentors. Don’t neglect the impact that participants can have on each other! Harnessing supporters of your screening and turning them into leaders can be a powerful way of communicating your message.
  1. Think about the culture of the screening itself – that is, the attitude, language, and behavior used by you, your volunteers or staff and screening participants. To make a true transition to fundraising results, the entire organization has to commit to it. There are a few important pieces to this commitment.
  • Communicating passionately about moving from awareness to fundraising. Participants need to understand if you are changing the make-up of an event. Be confident in this effort and make sure they understand that participation alone does not power your organization – revenue does.
  • Being confident about how your organization and event program helps. The foundation of successful fundraising is an authentic commitment to the cause. It is difficult to remember that you do not need to feel uncomfortable about asking for money – it is not for you; it is for the organization’s efforts.

Click here to bring a screening of GENERATION FOUND to your community: Host a Screening. 

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