Monday, 7 March 2011

Ridealist seeking partners for volunteer project

A few days ago Ridealist released a notice through various online media to announce our plan to donate US$1,000 toward the costs of producing a video/media package for a deserving non-profit or grassroots organisation.

Ridealist is a non-profit volunteer initiative that aims to tell compelling stories of people and organisations making a positive difference in their communities. We do this in our spare time, at weekends, evenings etc.

We believe that by showcasing the goodness of others, we can inspire and help organisations attract funding and volunteers, and visually demonstrate the impact their good work is having on the community.

But this year, together with US$1,000 toward expenses, we are donating our two-week annual summer vacation (in June) to work on a project(s) in any location outside Hong Kong where we can offer our skills to help raise the profile of a non-profit or grassroots organisation working with the environment, children, animals, the elderly, the disadvantaged - or any combination of the foregoing since they are often inextricably linked together.

We plan to spend up to two weeks with the selected NGO/NPO and aim to produce a short - perhaps two minute promotional / introduction video that can be embedded directly on the NGO/NPOs website front page. This can help "brand" your NGO/NPO and can be used for short presentations at fund raisers etc.

We will also produce a longer - up to 22 minutes - video documentary, looking at the NGO/NPO and their work in more depth.

These stories can be shared with television stations/networks and non-profit video sharing websites such as DoGooder TV, About GoodnessTV etc.. gaining extensive exposure for the NGO/NPO.

We'll also be taking scores of high quality still pictures.

But among the frequently asked questions put by NPO/NGOs are:

"How do we get involved?"

If you are connected to, or operate a charity, NPO or grassroots organisation that might benefit from having their activities documented for a promotional/fundraising/informational/training video, then get in touch, tell us what you do and we'll see how things go!

"What can you do for us?"

Rather than asking us what we can do for you, tell us what you would like us to do for you. Imagine you now have a camera crew. What would you like us to create that will reflect your work and the benefits you are bringing to the community? What is your core message? What message do you want to send to potential donors, sponsors?

"Where will the funding come from?"

Ridealist normally works within a small geographic area, for good reason.

We are completely self funded, no sponsorship or donations, and our work is done on a volunteer - no charge basis, so consequently we have to try and keep our costs to an absolute minimum.

Therefore, the groups we have previously worked with usually have to be within a bus or subway ride away from our home base.

But having said all that, we are keen to expand our horizons and our geographical reach.

And since we have full-time jobs too, we do almost all of the filming at weekends, and editing during our spare time during the week.

But this year we would like to create an opportunity to immerse ourselves in a story without distractions.

But this does lead us to the issue of costs.

For example: The roundtrip airfare from Hong Kong to Beijing is around US$900 to 1,000 each, to Chengdu it is UD$800 each, Entebbe in Uganda, is US$1,200 each, to Nairobi in Kenya is just over US$1,100 each.

To be frank, this is beyond our means. Our project budget of US$1,000 won’t go very far with prices like this. And then of course there is accommodation, food, local transport etc. to take into consideration.

So we are looking for partners who can help fulfill this ambition to spread Ridealist’s wings.

Could you be that partner?

Sincerely yours,

Chris & Shirley Gelken

Here's what people have been saying about Ridealist:

"Ridealist developed a video for my charity organization, Hands On Hong Kong, in 2010. It is an excellent piece of work in terms of both quality and content. It accurately captures what our organization is all about -- something that is not easy to do in just a few minutes. I'm very appreciative of the work Ridealist has done for Hands On. It's incredibly valuable for us to have this video to share with the community, including our supporters, volunteers, and current and potential sponsors.” March 1, 2011

Shaun Bernier, Hands on Hong Kong

"Chris Gelken and Shirley Han Gelken were instrumental in helping the International Center for Veterinary Services (ICVS) promote its non-profit animal welfare and shelter management programs in the PRC. Through Ridealist, Chris and Shirley created two pro-bono short films for ICVS to promote its free animal welfare and shelter management seminars and the ICVS/Columbia University Alumni Association animal welfare fundraising event in 2010. Ridealist provides a unique and essential service to bring awareness of the work of small start-up or non-profit organizations that would otherwise not have the funding to hire professional videographers and short-film producers of this caliber. It is without doubt that the short-films produced by Ridealist have helped to establish ICVS’ animal welfare programs internationally and to enable us to give China a voice and to act as a bridge between China and the world in improving the health and welfare for both animals and humans.

Chris is a consummate professional and is also warm, caring and kind with a great sense of humor - a real pleasure to work with. Ridealist is a great gift that has been given to us to help change and impact the world for the better and has our highest recommendation.”
February 27, 2011

Mary Peng, ICVS Beijing

“We really enjoyed working with Chris and Shirley. They had only a few days to shoot but still managed to put together a great video for our organization.” September 7, 2010

Judy Shen, CAI

“Chris produced a video for our Charity organization "Giving Hand" for no fee. Excellent job in very short time. This video promoted a Donating project for Levi Strauss, the charity in charge, Beijing Huayu Education Foundation and Giving Hand.” April 20, 2010

Bobbi Fisher, Giving Hand, Chengdu

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