Trickle Up (www.trickleup.org) is a non-profit organization that empowers the world's poorest and most vulnerable people, often women in extreme conditions, to take their first steps toward financial independence and social inclusion.
We wanted to drive awareness and financial support for Trickle Up's mission.
But we needed to avoid over-explaining the technical details.
Although they are good:
Trickle Up's graduation-based program is remarkably efficient and measurably effective.
Instead, our goal was to make an immediate emotional connection between the organization and the viewer, that we hoped would drive further exploration and deeper engagement.
Our strategy was to tell the story of Trickle Up through the story of a participant.
Simply, and directly. So the audience could connect.
And once we learned about Wilma Santiago, a beekeeper, honey maker, and mother of two, we knew we found our star.
When we visited Wilma in the Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, she was not only inspiring, her honey was also really good. Not just good for her small village—but like, really good. When we realized that Wilma's hand-crafted honey belonged at a gourmet market in Brooklyn, it gave us the idea to handle her story like we might a small-business profile. From the mood to the photography, we focused on her craft, her process, her passion, and her product. The result is a short story of a woman who faces the same challenges as any bee-keeper—or small business owner—and then some. And the message throughout is the story of Trickle Up: Hard work, and passion meets opportunity and education. Wilma is not just a poor woman who learned to make honey. She is a financially savvy craftsperson that would not look unfamiliar to most of our audience. And unlike most non-profit content, neither would our film.
"Wilma" launched at Trickle Up's Annual Gala, and over the course of the evening, the attendees pledged close to $900,000 to advance the economic and social inclusion of the world's most vulnerable people. Moving forward, this film will be used extensively to introduce people to Trickle Up, and to drive support via social channels, in-person presentations, and as a component of grant applications.
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