Sharing the impact of £1.6million with a 7 year-old fundraiser and his family

When a 7 year-old fundraiser raises millions of dollars for your institution, how do you say “thank you”? The Evelina London Children’s Charity team had the unique opportunity to produce a piece of video stewardship that would speak to a special seven year-old and keep his family foundation informed on fund financials. Here’s how they did it. 

Tony Hudgell is a double amputee whose life was saved by the healthcare workers at Evelina London Children’s Hospital. At the age of 5, Tony set out on a mission to raise money for the hospital and staff that cared for him. He committed to walking 10 kilometers on his new prosthetic legs and crutches, with an original fundraising goal of £509. Tony received global praise and support for his commitment and bravery and, two years later, Tony had raised 1.6 million pounds for Evelina London Children’s Charity. 

In response to this incredible act of bravery and generosity, the donor relations team at Evelina London Children’s Charity knew they had to think outside to the box to answer a very important question:

How do you thank a seven-year-old who raised over £1.6 million?

(And: how do you do it quickly, with limited staff time and resources, and have it be fun and focused on the financials?)

For the Evelina London Children’s Charity team, here was their list of non-negotiables before they embarked on creating the ultimate piece of video stewardship: 

  • What they produced had to be authentic, heartfelt, and personalized
  • It had to digestible and memorable for 7-year-old Tony 
  • It had to demonstrate clear gift impact and financial details for Tony’s parents and his found family foundation
  • It had to be easily accessible and sharable with a broader audience (Tony is a bit of a celebrity!)

The Evelina team also knew that they wanted to include staff from the hospital where Tony had been treated his whole life. And they knew that Tony loves Chelsea Football Club and Formula 1 racing (very important details that came into play during video production). 

Rounding up a production dream team to produce a powerful video

The Evelina team established key stakeholders to bring an incredible piece of video stewardship to life on a tight budget and a short timeline. Ultimately, the creation team for this project consisted of two Donor Relations staff and one Fundraising Writer, along with the doctor and nurse who regularly saw Tony at Evelina Children’s Hospital. 

The team ultimately partnered with film company Popla Media to develop the visual concept and animation for Tony’s stewardship video. But to keep costs of the video production down, the Evelina team recorded the narration and some footage on an iPhone and wrote the script in-house. No hospital visits were needed. 

The end result of this video concept and creation process was a short, animated film, narrated by Tony’s doctor. It showed Tony’s doctors and nurses transform into animated characters who take him to Chelsea Football stadium, space, and prehistoric earth to walk with dinosaurs. The film finishes with the doctors and nurses taking Tony to Evelina London Children’s Hospital to show him the life changing equipment his gift will fund like virtual reality headsets, 3D printing software, and camera systems that help surgeons plan and carry out surgeries.

When you create amazing things, it matters how you share them.

After 10 weeks of working with internal and external partners to produce such an amazing video, the Evelina team had to find the right way to share it with Tony and his family.

The delivery method to Tony’s family needed to match the level of quality, production, and personalization of the video itself. It had to showcase the Evelina London Children’s Charity branding. 

Using ThankView by EverTrue, the team shared Tony’s video via email directly to Tony’s mother in a message addressed to ‘Tony and the Hudgell family.’ The email design was branded with the Evelina London Children’s Charity branding, which was well-recognized by Tony’s family. It included a personalized message of thanks, a link to a PDF giving impact report, and the animated video for Tony, all in one place.

By creating a film and report we addressed the two audiences of Tony and his family/foundation, together in one multipurpose stewardship package. Our goal was to thank Tony and celebrate his achievements in a fun and relatable way, and we also provided more detailed reporting information to his family and foundation. Tony and his family felt not just informed but thanked and immensely proud.

ThankView by EverTrue allows you to share heartfelt, personalized video stewardship like this with all of your donors, ages seven to one hundred and seven! Get in touch with us and we’ll show you how. 

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