WorkCabin Creative is about having a genuine connection to conservation and our conservation clients. It's about walking the talk and understanding the language of what we film and produce for organizations big and small. WorkCabin Creative's difference is why leading conservation organizations choose WorkCabin Creative, Ontario, Canada's Conservation Media House.
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Conservation Documentaries as a Fundraising Tool For Your Organization

The Bird House documentary in Canada

Conservation Documentaries as a Fundraising Tool For Your Organization

One of the very big benefits of having a signature documentary about your conservation organization is the film’s long shelf life. Unlike 30-second videos that you post on Instagram or Facebook that fade into newsfeed obscurity in 24 hours or less, a documentary represents real opportunity for your environmental nonprofit. Sure, a documentary does entail a bigger budget. But it also has the potential for a very significant return on investment. And that’s especially big for your organization if you consider that most documentaries can be funded through grants.

A Priority Place documentaryIn 2023, I filmed and produced two major conservation documentaries, in addition to my regular conservation video work across Ontario for organizations. The two documentaries were The Bird House (Long Point Bird Observatory), and A Priority Place (Long Point Walsingham Forest).

Using a conservation documentary is an excellent way to raise funds for your conservation organization. It helps to create awareness about your cause and motivates people to take action. Here are some ways you can use a conservation documentary for fundraising:

      1. Screenings: You can organize a screening event for the documentary and sell tickets to raise funds. You can also partner with a theater or cinema to host the screening and share the profits.
  1. Crowdfunding: You can use the documentary to create a crowdfunding campaign where donors can support your organization’s conservation efforts.
  2. Online streaming: You can upload the documentary to online streaming platforms and charge a fee to access it. You can also partner with other organizations to promote the documentary and share the profits.
  3. Merchandising: You can create merchandise such as t-shirts, mugs, and posters featuring the documentary to sell to supporters as a way to raise funds.
  4. Grants: You can use the documentary as a tool to apply for grants from foundations and other funding organizations that support conservation causes.

One important note: During the pre-planning phase of your film production, be sure to identify your potential uses for your documentary. Doing so will mean that you can have the appropriate music licences for your hoped for uses. It’s better to have this taken care of in the beginning than scrambling later on. For example, if you want to seek out TV stations to eventually show your documentary, you’ll need the correct music licence. The TV station will want to see your licences.

Remember to reach out to your community network too, and use social media to create awareness about your fundraising efforts. Good luck!

Gregg McLachlan
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