How Filmraiser Uses Texts And Movies To Raise Money For Causes Around The World

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When Filmraiser began using texting to sell tickets to their movie screenings it completely revolutionized the way they fundraise.

When Jacob Medjuck founded Filmraiser, his own film (the Indie smash hit Summerhood) had just been orphaned by the collapse of Blockbuster. Fractured releasing arms had left him and his investors in a lurch.

He was told by marketers that the cost to advertise the film would vastly eclipse any return on investment, and so the project was abandoned like the set of a spaghetti western. But instead of giving up, he got active.

How Does Filmraiser Work?

The concept behind Filmraiser is simple: schools, clubs, and organizations sign up to sell tickets to new Hollywood films. Thanks to a partnership between Filmraiser and Fandago, you can buy your ticket from the Filmraiser portal and go see the movie at any theater you’d like! $1.00 from your ticket purchase will go towards the organization of your choice. The box office sees “free” advertising, and worthwhile organizations receive a cut of the action. A marketing win-win.

To date, Filmraiser has helped raise money for thousands of critical student programs and non-profits around the U.S.—including United Way Worldwide, Girl Scouts of America and the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

In 2010 Filmraiser began showing Summerhood to hundreds of schools. The schools each fundraiser was benefitting were given 200 physical paper tickets to sell each, and it quickly showed to be both inefficient, and an unnecessary burden on teachers.

“I believe that teachers should not have to be collection agents,” notes Jacob. “They shouldn’t have to collect money or harass parents to send in checks or sign permissions slips.”

When 20th Century Fox asked Filmraiser to help market the beloved Peanuts movie, the program needed a better solution.

That’s when texting came into the equation.

Finding a More Reliable Marketing Channel

Jacob found that school servers tended to bounce his emails. While people had indicated their interest in the program, only about 20% of them were receiving the information they had requested. Jacob was also spending 90% of his time on customer service trying to connect people with the marketing materials they requested.

That’s when he found SimpleTexting. “When I came across the platform I saw it had iterated. You continued to add new features and things that we were looking for.”

Filmraiser’s bounced emails quickly turned into a streamlined SimpleTexting profile that allowed them to handle inquiries reliably, directly, and more efficiently. Jacob even began using the platform as a verification method for new causes wanting to sign up.

Using SMS to Promote Films and Sell Tickets

When folks sign up on the website they are asked to enter their phone number. An autoresponder sends them a verification code which they are prompted to enter on the site. This helps Filmraiser cut down on the amount of incorrect contact information and spam.

Once users enter this verification code, they’re signed up to receive texts when new movies are available to be used a fundraiser.

Hi Alfredo, it’s Jacob at FilmRaiser. Do you want Steven Spielberg’s READY PLAYER ONE as a fundraiser for the YMCA? Reply RP1 to participate or SKP to skip this film.

Jacob was still able to provide his trademark level of detail and attention by utilizing our custom fields for messages. This allows him to personalize texts with the organization’s and individual’s names.

Hi Alfredo, final weekend ahead! If you are using the movie READY PLAYER ONE as a fundraiser there are 5 days left! SEND PEOPLE TO: www.FilmRaiser.com to select YMCA.

Our support team was with him for every new idea he brought to the table. “I knew you [SimpleTexting] had the ambition to continue to improve and your customer service is better than anything… you guys just have it down.”

Their game-changing partnership with Fandango allows them to send purchase links through SimpleTexting, track them, and make sure the organization responsible for the sale receives a cut. Once a fundraiser has ended, Filmraiser uses texts to confirm how many ticket sales each organization drove.

Hi Alfredo, your cause drove 120 tickets to READY PLAYER ONE. We sent you an email (may be in your junk). Let us know where to send your check using this link: http://txt.st/GEOZZS Thanks!

Texting & Movies: The Almost Perfect Pair

With a growing number of organizations partnered with the platform and a seemingly unending supply of energy from founder Jacob Medjuck, we can expect great things to continue from Filmraiser. We know our SimpleTexting team is thrilled to be a partner to such an innovative organization!

Want to help create an impact with SMS in your nonprofit? Try us for free for 14 days and experience the movie magic!

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