The full story
Fundraising professionals often say that the best part of their jobs is seeing the impact of the money raised and the lives changed by philanthropy. Typically, though, major gifts are not raised by children.
Tony Hudgell is a double amputee whose life was saved by the healthcare workers at Evelina London Children’s Hospital. At the young 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 King’s College London (academic partners to Evelina Children’s Hospital), know 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, meaningfully, and with limited staff time and resources.)
For the King’s College London team, here was their list of non-negotiables:
- 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
They King’s team also knew that they wanted to include staff from Evelina Children’s 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 King’s 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 from the King’s team, along with the doctor and nurse who regularly saw Tony at Evelina Children’s Hospital.
The King’s 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 King’s 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 King’s 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 King’s and Evelina London branding.
Using ThankView by EverTrue, the King’s 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.
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.