Start a Fundraiser for Our Little Roses With a Film Screening of Voices Beyond the Wall
If you’d like to start a fundraiser for Our Little Roses, there’s no better way to convey our important work than a screening of the documentary Voices Beyond the Wall. This compelling film provides an eye-opening glimpse into the lives of abandoned and neglected girls in Honduras who found a nurturing home at Our Little Roses.
Don’t worry if hosting a fundraising event feels intimidating. We’ll share some tips to make it run smoothly, gather a great crowd, and most importantly, keep attendees involved with Our Little Roses.
What Is ‘Voices Beyond the Wall’?
Voices Beyond the Wall is a feature documentary film that follows the girls of Our Little Roses as they work with an award-winning American poet and Episcopal priest, Spencer Reese. Funded by a Fulbright grant, Reese spent a year teaching the girls poetry and helping them create a book of their own work, Counting Time Like People Count Stars.
At the end of his year in Honduras, the girls find their voices. The book is filled with poetry that’s both moving and complex. The girls seek to heal the traumas of their past and prepare for an uncertain future beyond the safe walls of Our Little Roses. Their poetry speaks of love and family, the pain of betrayal, and the mothers they lost.
For those who may only know Honduras through sensationalized news stories, the film serves as an excellent introduction to the challenges facing girls and women. Learning about the indomitable spirit of the girls featured in the documentary will inspire your attendees to get involved.
How Do I Organize a Film Screening?
So, where do you begin? Let’s walk through how you can start a fundraiser featuring the documentary.
- Get the film
You can purchase the documentary from Amazon. A 24-hour rental is $2.99 or you can buy it for $9.99. If you have an Amazon Prime membership, it’s free. Just keep in mind, if you screen the film at a local cinema, they may need it in another format. Ask what they need, and we can help you get it.
- Choose your location
You’ll want to be strategic about where you host the film screening to encourage the best turnout. Think about the crowd you’re trying to draw and what would be most convenient and appealing to them. For example, if you’re targeting college students, having it on campus makes the most sense. Here are a few other factors to consider:
- Venue – Is the location relatively well known? Or will people have trouble finding it?
- Size – How many attendees do you expect? Is there enough seating?
- Equipment – What audio/visual equipment do they have? Will it allow everyone to see and hear well?
- Accessibility – Is there sufficient parking and/or is it close to public transportation?
- Choose a date and time
Like the location, it’s important to be strategic when selecting the date and time. We recommend:
- Piggybacking on other events or national observances to increase awareness or interest in your event. (For example, you might want to have your film screening on International Day of the Girl)
- Checking local community calendars to make sure you’re not competing with another event that would draw your audience away.
- Anticipating your target crowd’s availability (For example, if you’re expecting working adults, schedule for the evening or weekend)
- Gather your volunteer team
When you’re hosting a fundraising event, you want to think through the entire experience in advance so you have enough volunteers and everyone knows their role. Here’s a sample flow:
- Signage – Who will create signs or directions to help attendees find your event?
- Refreshments – Who will purchase and deliver any refreshments for attendees?
- Set up – Who will arrive early and make sure doors are open, A/V is working, signs are up, refreshments and information table is ready?
- Ticket takers – Who will collect donations as attendees enter and direct them to refreshments?
- Information Table – If you have more resources about Our Little Roses or additional donation options, who will manage the table?
- Ushers – Who will guide attendees to their seats as it gets closer to the start of the event?
- Master of Ceremonies – Who will give a brief introduction to the film and encourage attendees to stay afterward for a Q&A?
- Panel – Who has the most experience with Our Little Roses and/or Honduras to answer questions after the film? We can be a resource for this as well. We have long-term supporters and board members across the country who may be available to join a panel.
- Publicize your event
Try to plan your film screening well in advance so you have plenty of options for spreading the word. This also allows potential attendees to mark their calendars. We have created templates to make creating flyers, postcards, emails, event pages, press releases, etc., easy and quick.
- Reach out to organizations with a similar mission – See if they’ll include a notice about your event in their newsletter or social media.
- Post on social media – Whether on your personal, business, church, or social group account, create multiple reminders using photos, quotes, and other eye-catching posts. Check out our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for ideas.
- Submit to local newspapers – Most newspapers have a local events column that’s free for nonprofits.
- Send personalized emails – Rather than blasting out the same message to everyone in your social circle, take some time to write a customized introduction about why you think they’d enjoy the event.
- Add to event websites – You could use Eventbrite, MeetUp, or create a Facebook event.
Most importantly, think about where your target audience gets their news. For example, if you’re trying to gather folks from your congregation, make sure you get a blurb in the newsletter/bulletin and ask for it to be added to Sunday announcements.
How Do I Encourage Attendees to Stay Involved?
Now that you’ve created a successful event, how do you make sure your attendees stay connected and spread the word? Here are a few ideas to keep the momentum going.
- Keep them in the loop – Create a signup sheet for Our Little Roses e-newsletter. Also, be sure to distribute a postcard or flyer with our website, blog, and social media pages, so they have something to take with them.
- Talk about sponsorships – Explain all the services Our Little Roses provides to the girls and the power of contributing to an individual child’s housing, healthcare, and education.
- Share your mission trip experiences – If you’ve had the opportunity to visit Our Little Roses, telling your own story could inspire someone to organize their own mission trip.
- Encourage hosting their own event – Big or small, every event matters. Let them know about the many ways they can create their own fundraiser, amplifying our message and supporting our mission.
- Create a peer to peer fundraising page – Share the option of having their own fundraising page. Describe the benefits of a personalized and secure donation website.
- Thank everyone – Send your donors a quick thank you note. Here are some ways to show your appreciation:
- Give the person a shout-out on social media by tagging them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
- Send a personal email.
- Reply with a quick note directly from your Champions Dashboard.
- Write a personal thank you note or call them directly.
Ready to start a fundraiser? Hopefully, these tips have given you the confidence to plan a screening of our documentary. If you need any help along the way, please contact our team. We’re happy to support you in hosting a fundraising event for Our Little Roses.