A wise person once said, “It’s not just what you say, but how you say it.”
Another wise person once stated, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
Creatively taking these two aphorisms together can lead to great fundraising success. Consider what happened when the City of Philadelphia competed for a $1 million grant in the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge:
Good Company Ventures, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Philadelphia Department of Commerce collaborated on a grant application for their Philadelphia Social Enterprise Partnership.
With over 300 cities from 45 states competing, the Philadelphia collaborative knew it needed to do something to standout. The Philadelphia team prepared the required written proposal, which came in at 30 pages of dense content.
Then, they contracted with David Gloss and his team at Here’s My Chance, a Philadelphia-based creative agency that works with nonprofit organizations. HMC was tasked with helping Philadelphia’s proposal submission standout from the crowd.
Gloss went to work and produced an infographic that would accomplish two things: 1) Distinguish the Philadelphia proposal from the others. 2) Provide an easy to understand summary of the 30-page proposal.
With an energetic, clean infographic branded in Philadelphia’s colors and a detailed written proposal, the Philadelphia team earned a spot as one of the Top 20 finalists. In the next round of the competition, finalists were asked to submit a short video describing their proposed program and the impact it would have.
Once again, HMC went to work. Here is how HMC describes what happened next:
Being a Top 20 finalist is pretty sweet…but winning is even sweeter. For the next round, all finalists created videos, and we knew ours had to be the Beyoncé of all entrants: bold, professional, and flawless. To allow for more freedom and flexibility for that, we decided to produce an animated video. Then, we booked the talent. Not only did Mayor Michael Nutter provide a voice over for the video, but he appeared in it as well.”
At the end of the long competition, Bloomberg Philanthropies named Philadelphia as one of the five winners, awarding the city $1 million! By the way, Philadelphia was the only winner to have submitted an animated, rather than live-action, video.
So, what can we learn from this?