Many different ideas and proposals were generated for our field project, however we had less than two weeks to prepare and implement so it had to be something not too big and feasible. We decided to do a Charity Movie Night and to partner with the Bahrain Society for Children with Behavioral and Communication Difficulties and Alia for Early Intervention to raise funds and awareness supporting autism.
We had a screening of the movie “Temple Grandin”, a biopic of a woman with autism who became one of the most prominent female animal scientists. In addition to the movie screening, we had an informational speaker who gave us a short interactive presentation about autism. We managed to generate funds by selling entrance tickets, as well as selling food and beverage to the audience. We also made donations open to anyone who wanted to contribute, even if they were not able to attend the event that way we were able to maximize funds
Project Objectives and Methodologies:
Our project objectives were to raise funds, and to create awareness about autism.
We started planning for the event on 7th of April 2015 and we scheduled our event to be on the 15th of April 2015, so we only had a total of 8 days to plan, schedule, organize, and implement our plans for the event! So we had to have a very hands on approach with this project in order for it to have been successful.
We split our tasks and gave each other functional roles that were split into marketing, operations, logistics, finance, public relations and having a project manager to overlook all the tasks. Even though we distributed tasks we had a cross functional team strategy which allowed us to help each other when necessary.
Our primary tasks were to secure a location as well as have proper advertisement.
Since we had such little time, we wanted to spread the word as soon as we could. We created an Instagram account “@movieforacause” and used other means of social media in addition to posting flyers on notice boards and digitally as advertisement. We also managed to get a local news crew cover the event.
In terms of the location we managed to secure a venue within a day from planning with Bahrain Polytechnic, a local university, who gave it to us rent free, including technical support for the event. We also had a few other sponsors, Canar who provided us with funding for the event and Janahi Design who created our banners and flyers.
In terms of logistics, it was very simple as the venue was fully equipped with chairs, speakers, screen and projectors. It also conveniently had a food area to set up stalls. For food and beverage, we had those delivered by either family members or the vendors themselves.
Also, plenty of parking was available as the event began after regular work hours, so a lot of free parking was available by then.
In terms of revenue, we charged entrance fees for 3 BHD (Bahraini Dinar) and for snack and beverage, we sold popcorn, nachos, chips, chocolate, baked goods, soft drinks and water.
We managed to have 75 attendees which equated to 225 BHD from entrance fees alone, 130.2 from snacks and beverages, and we also sold 87 BHD worth of autism accessories provided to us from the society. In addition to the money we received from the event itself we managed to raise 878.2 BHD worth of donations, so total funds raised were 1381.2 BHD. All in all we managed to create a very successful event in a very short period of time.
Advice for Future Teams
- Make sure all of you communicate well with each other, because communication is a key factor in helping you succeed. Use the most compatible means of communication for your team. Ours was meeting before and after every class and creating a shared whatsapp group.
- Make sure you plan and document everything from the get go.
- Have contingency plans in place, and if you’re doubtful of getting last minute approvals from somewhere or someone it is ok to work in parallel with your contingency plan.
- List down all the possible challenges and consider the mitigation process in order to overcome any surprises.
- Most of all, remember you’re doing it for a noble cause, so have fun with it and remember that it is very possible! We only had 8 days to deliver, so anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
We learned three main things from this project:
- Planning. Planning is a key element that will contribute to the success of your project, it will help you think of every detail that you might have missed, and it will definitely help you avoid any risks.
- Communication. We made sure we always had a way of communicating with each other; the workflow of our project went very smoothly thanks to that.
- Commitment. Although a lot of us had prior engagements either with work or our personal lives, we were all committed to completing our tasks and meeting deadlines. No one fell short in that aspect in our group and everyone delivered on time which is what helped make our project so successful.
7 thoughts on “Movie for a Cause-Supporting Autism”
I would credit this project for being highly creative, not in its generic idea, but in the attention the team has put in every detail to make the project as a whole stands out from any regular movie event. The results achieved by the team are but a witness to the great and thoughtfull planning put to ensure a class A project. In my future projects i will surely remember these shared lessons! Million Thanks!
i personally have a friend that has worked with autistic kids in the past. i have visited her once and i would say that what i saw was very saddening. the reason why i liked this idea was because autism is often overlooked by the Bahraini community. it is thought of as a myth and that autism does not exist. because every parent thinks their child is perfect they often do not realize that something is wrong with their child and start using excuses instead of treating their child.
What I find interesting about this project is that the group was able to organize an event that is directly related to the main focus of the 2 charities. The selected movie was not just a new release or blockbuster film, but the bio picture about an autistic woman who became successful in her professional life. So in my opinion, establishing the common theme between the event and charities was one of the keys to success. This common theme helped connect the dots between the illness, event and charity organizations. As I see it, through the movie participants were able to re-live the experience and better understand the struggles that families with children with behavioral and communication difficulties face every day. This is a good way of creating an awareness which was one of the project’s objectives.
You team did a great job! Within 8 days, you were able to find a free venue, to prepare flyers/advertisements and to contact local news crew to cover the event. And most importantly, gathered 75 people to support this movie about Autism. That was awesome! This is the level of commitment and planning we want to learn from you.
It was a pleasure reading about your project. I will take away your advice to ensure that we think about and list down all possible challenges that we may encounter. This will allow us to anticipate issues, have a contingency plan, and be able to react quickly. I also liked how the group utilized social media to spread the word. This seems to be a common tool to communicate events.
I think your recommendations are great. Many times we forget to have a good plan B in place. With so little time to plan an event, the last thing you want to do is to dedicate your time toward something that may not even be needed. Thanks for the reminder and great job! It was a creative idea.
First and foremost, kudos to you all for organizing and managing a phenomenal project. Even more impressive is the fact that you all completed this task in just 8 days. After reviewing your lessons learned, one item really resonated with me, commitment. To complete your assignment every team member had to remain committed to the assignment. All of you made the project your main focus. I believe this is why you all were so successful. This is clearly an example of a team who achieved at their highest level. What an exceptional job!