Monday, March 12, 2012

Thoughts on Taking Action

One thing that's constantly on my mind: when people see Abandoned Allies and they are motivated to take action, where should I direct them? Right now I don't have a concrete answer, but I'm still looking and talking with people about it.

Here are the things I believe to be self-evident:
  • Audiences of documentary films are intelligent folks who like "edu-tainment" because they enjoy learning more about a subject in an informal, entertaining way
  • Sometimes they are inspired to take action if a particular issue resonates with them
  • Often this action takes the form of: learning more, volunteering, or offering financial support
  • They want to be directed to like-minded folks 
  • They may want to be part of an existing, trusted and dedicated non-profit that's already making a difference when they join the cause
  • If / when they join this organization's efforts they want to feel welcomed, valued, and appreciated
  • If they feel like (a) they're efforts are not valued, (b) the organization isn't as committed to the cause as it should be, (c) the organization is not run well, or (d) there's no proof of the difference that's being made -- the dedication to the organization, and perhaps the cause as a whole, may be dropped entirely
I feel like these observations are accurate, but would appreciate more conversation about it. I am learning what I can; just attended a session on getting / retaining volunteers. It was incredibly helpful.

What I envision for Abandoned Allies is a place on the web like this one: There are so many things I like about this:

  • At the very top they briefly list five things you can do now to make a difference.
  • A "learn more" option links to a nonprofit dedicated to making a difference on this particular issue.
  • Financial gifts will support an existing nonprofit already making a difference.
  • There are options available for varying levels of commitment. 
Our documentary explores a minority group and how they have been treated. We look through a very limited scope because the film is only 60 minutes long. We very briefly touch on what's happening today, with the hopes that people will want to learn more and that positive change will take shape. 

I seek an existing organization dedicated to shaping the positive change for both the Montagnard people (in Vietnam and the States) and American soldiers (vets and active duty). This is a broad scope, so I need help finding the trusted organizations helping these groups of people. 

It's a challenge, but not an impossibility. I continue to search and hope.

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