Video gets the lottery balls rolling for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity

Video gets the lottery balls rolling for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity

By Jessica Purvis, Client Services Coordinator 

In July, Birmingham Children’s Hospital posted a very exciting Tweet; “@BHam_Childrens We asked our patients and staff what they would do if they won £25k on our #BCHLottery…” And with it, a link to a promotional lottery video!

In this 52 second clip, Benjamin Gilchrist, Individual Giving Associate, gathered patients, mums and dads as well as hospital staff and got them talking about what they’d do with £25k. This approach brought their lottery message right back to the children who benefit from it – making for a promotional video with a strong, clear message, connecting viewers to the cause.

We spoke to Ben, who gave us an insight into the ideas behind the video.

How and why did you come up with the idea to create a video?

We’d been talking to some of our current supporters about why they’d chosen to play our lottery, and everyone we spoke to said the main motivation was the cause, rather than the prize. We tend to focus on the prize when marketing we wanted a way of linking the prize to the people who would benefit from that the money raised through our lottery. We had recently done some promotion in our fundraising hub around the idea of ‘if I won the lottery I would…’ so we decided that we would ask the same question to staff, patients and their families.

How did you create the video?

Me and my colleague Stan made the video, it was fairly easy to do! We used Stan’s digital camera to film and then edited the footage into the finished video in an afternoon. All in all it took less than a working day to put together and we were really pleased with the outcome. The only cost for us in making the video was our time, so it was definitely cost effective and because we were lucky enough to have a basic knowledge of editing it wasn’t too hard to put together.

The message for the video is very strong and clear; we love the use of real nurses, patients and families. How did you decide on the content and message for the video?

After speaking with some of our current lottery players to understand their motivations for joining we began to understand that the main draw for the majority of our players is supporting the hospital, with the added bonus that they may win a prize. We decided to use the video to clearly link the lottery to the children our charity benefits. We thought this was a great selling point for new supporters, but it also reminded our current players that they actually are making a donation to the charity so hopefully it’ll help us a bit with retaining our players.

There are a lot of different faces in the video; how did you convince people to get involved?

We initially spoke to a few ward managers to see if they’d have any patients or families willing to talk to us, and we got a few recommendations of children who might like to star in the video. When we visited the wards to film the children we did some sweet talking and convinced some staff to get involved too. Our favourites were the kids, it’s always so fun to chat to them and they were really excited to be involved which I think comes across in the video!

Where did you share the video?

We used the video on our Facebook and Twitter pages and in an E-shot email. I also used the video for a paid for video advert on Facebook, which was the only budget we’ve needed for the project. The video now plays in our Fundraising Hub, which is a public area in the hospital for patients, families and supporters to visit us and talk about fundraising. The promotional strategy for the video was to advertise our lottery as widely as possible, and to hopefully open the conversation with supporters about why they play the lottery and to make potential players thinks about joining.

What was the response?

We’ve had a great reaction to the video so far, and we’ve seen spikes in our new player numbers each time we’ve pushed the video. It’s really helped us to advertise the lottery internally as staff recognise their friends and patients in the video and ask questions about it, and it’s been a great fun way to encourage new people to sign up.

Would you do it again? If so, what would you improve?

We would definitely do it again, and hope to in the near future. I don’t know if I’d improve what we did this time, but I would look for a different focus for the video so we could use our current video and a new one together.


See our previous Newsletter for Sterling’s Top 5 Tips for creating a charity video on your Smartphone.

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