How Video Can Help You Become a Better Fundraiser

A local shelter came to us looking for ways to support their largest fundraising campaign in history—a new facility for women and children looking to transition from homelessness to lives of self-sufficiency. Their story is powerful, but they needed a way to tell it more broadly, and that’s how this video was born.

Video is an ideal tool for fundraisers because it:

  1. Inspires action. It uses the power of images, sound, and music to evoke the emotion that prompts a potential donor to care about what you’re doing—and ultimately, to give. Most often, people first make decisions with their heart, and then their mind, and no amount of persuasive text can touch the heart like a well-done video.

  2. Conveys need. Video brings real struggles to life and establish the need that drives your project.

  3. Brings a vision to life. It can cast the vision for a real solution better than any other medium, bringing to life a picture of what your cause will help to achieve.

  4. Is personal. There’s nothing as compelling as the story of someone who has been changed or helped by your work.

  5. Works in many applications. It can take your story to any place that can play video—the home of a prospective donor, your own website, or a local meeting or event.

  6. Is more likely to reach your audience. Video is increasingly the medium of choice, so it’s more likely to get viewed and remembered.

But video production can be overwhelming if you haven’t done a lot of it. Here’s what you can do to get the video that will work for you.

  1. Outline the problem your project will solve. Include statistics and stories.

  2. Make it about what your donors care about. Make it clear to donors what investing in your cause will do for them.

  3. Have a well-articulated vision. What will be different when your project is funded? What will the destination of this journey look like? How will it change lives for the better?

  4. Know your audience. Know what they care about, what motivates them, and what could turn them off.

  5. Have a call to action. Make it easy for people to take the next step, be it asking for more information or giving.

  6. Know where video fits in your strategy. How will it link to other communication tools—both in terms of story and look?

  7. Pick the right people. If it’s interview-driven, the people chosen will make all the difference. Does their story include struggle and hope? Can they share it on-camera? They don’t need to be performers—it’s better if they are not—but they do need to have a story that a good video crew can draw out.

  8. Provide good logistic support. Getting your crew access to places that help tell your story will improve it visually, and creating a schedule that has everything ready for your crew when they show up will save you money in the long run and help you get better footage.

  9. Know and communicate your budget. There are many video companies to choose from, but making your budget clear up-front can help you narrow the playing field and eliminate bad surprises.

  10. Inform yourself about your video vendor. Look at their work to see if it fits your organization. Talk to a client of theirs to see what working with the firm was like. If it’s a larger firm, make sure the people working on your project are the ones who did the projects you especially liked.

  11. Have a plan for distribution. This is the most overlooked part of video strategy we encounter. Your video is an investment that should work for you in many applications. Use it on all your website and social media channels, deliver it via email to your donor list, post it on your blog, show it at events, show it at personal "asks", and link it to appropriate sites.

  12. Don’t worry about it going viral. It’s extremely difficult to get videos to go viral—and going viral doesn’t mean more people will give to your cause. Getting your video in front of 50 qualified donors is more important than having it reach 50,000 people who aren’t ever going to support your cause.

  13. Measure and learn. This probably won’t be your last video. So watch your analytics, but more importantly, watch for results. One of the videos we produced for a client was shown at an event and a donor in the audience wrote a check for $25,000. In the end, likes and shares are interesting, but gives are the best metric.

Great videos change people’s minds and motivate them to take action. Why shouldn’t you be using this tool to solicit support for your cause?


Campaign Microsites Are a Must-Have to Increase Your Ad Results

We developed this campaign microsite for an urgent care opening. Within the first few months, visits exceeded projections by 400 patients per month.

We developed this campaign microsite for an urgent care opening. Within the first few months, visits exceeded projections by 400 patients per month.

Campaign-based microsites are websites with a custom URL that generally live outside of your corporate site and are created for one reason: to support a brand campaign.
They’re more effective at converting leads to sales for several reasons:

  1. The campaign promise is immediately obvious. Send users to your company website and you’re likely to lose them. Why? Because it’s too hard for them to find what the campaign promised. Even a few seconds looking for the item advertised will result in abandonment.
  2. Microsites often have far more design options than most corporate sites—which means they can often be more visually arresting. And good visuals help sell.
  3. Analytics for the campaign are easily viewed by agency and client, allowing the agency to make continual updates that improve SEO. This is faster, more efficient and effective than having a go-between.
  4. There’s just one call to action—and it’s the one that supports your ad campaign.

Don’t let your ad campaigns fall on deaf ears. Insist on a campaign microsite for any significant advertising campaign.

Nike Steps Beyond “Just Do It”

Not anyone can pull off a successful multi-million-dollar marketing campaign, but having access to the biggest names in sports is a good place to start.

Over the years, Nike, Inc. has used many of the world’s top athletes in their campaigns, but for the Olympics, they altered their strategy. For the 2016 games in Rio, Nike released their “Unlimited” campaign—which was executed to perfection.

Their first video, “Unlimited Future,” pans to a room filled with babies in cribs sporting nametags like: Neymar Jr, Serena Williams, LeBron James, Mo Farah and Zhou Qi. Actor Bobby Cannavale walks in and begins a Rocky-esque speech about how life isn’t fair, you don’t get to choose the circumstances in which you’re born into, but how you can determine your future—a future of greatness.

The stage and thesis are set for the campaign, and the message is broad. The campaign features one athlete per video with themes like:

  • Champions weren't born champions. They were born babies.
  • Life isn’t about finding your limits. It’s about realizing you have none.
  • Youth has no age limit.
  • Limits are only limits if you let them be.

These cleverly play off everyone’s motivation for greatness and desire to succeed. It’s uplifting, inspiring, and energizing. While this message that could be delivered by Adidas or Under Armour and be received just the same, it was Nike that did it.

The Unlimited series of films inspires viewers to push beyond the limits of what the world says they can do—a move that parallels what Nike is doing themselves by evolving beyond their “Just Do It” tagline.

Nike tells us that greatness is something everyone is capable of, and whether we believe them is beside the point, because either way they’ve created a tether between greatness and their own brand.

Image Source: YouTube

CMBell Company Wins Creative Gold Award in International Competition

A gold award was given for creation of Littleton Adventist Hospital’s OB campaign “Littleton Loves Little Ones”. This campaign included videos, digital advertising, a microsite, print ads, direct mail, elevator wraps and window wraps.

Entries are judged by design and health care marketing professionals on creativity, design, typography, production, quality and overall effectiveness.

CMBell Company and Clients Win Five Awards for Creative Work

Creative work developed by CMBell Company and our clients has received five awards from the 33rd Annual Healthcare Marketing Advertising Awards Competition—the country’s largest healthcare advertising awards competition.

We celebrate the hard work and creativity of our clients and our team in bringing together these creative projects.

Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center OB Admissions Booklet

Glendale Adventist Medical Center 110-year Anniversary Video

Adventist Health Southern California Region Brochure

Adventist Health Southern California Region Renewal Video

Adventist Health Southern California Region Success Video

Adventist Health Urgent Care - Montrose Motion Graphic Video

Simi Valley Hospital OB Campaign

Use Your Communication Tools to Celebrate Successes

Every company has a story.
And as professional communicators, one of our most significant roles is to keep the purpose of our organization in front of employees, donors, supporters and customers—and to do it in ways that inspire them. We need to be intentional about seeing that messages about cost-control, quality and other business goals do not eclipse the stories that depict the grander purpose of our institution.
In this piece, our client took the time to celebrate the successes of a shared goal—a campaign to strengthen the future of their school. We worked with them to express their message visually in the design of a piece that honors the efforts of countless volunteers, donors and employees—and furthers the narrative of the school’s worth. Successes like these inspire and fuel other successes.
Let’s be proactive about tending our organization’s narrative. How are you using your communication tools to celebrate your successes and inspire employees, volunteers and donors to work on behalf of your purpose?

Who Doesn’t Love a Baby Video?

We chose each element of this maternity services video—the voice, the script, the visual look, the music, the animation effects and the custom baby photos shot by our partner, Tami Wilson—to depict the extra attentiveness our client brings to their patients.
Within the first few days of posting the video on their Facebook page, it had more than 2,000 views.
What ways have you used to incorporate videos and photos into your social media strategy to increase engagement?

5 Deadly Money-Saving Ways to Kill Your Next Ad Campaign

See the difference a professional shot makes. Top photo: We called in a pro. Bottom photo: They should have called in a pro.

Advertising has to work on every level. For many, it will be the only impression of your company or service that the consumer gets—or at least their first impression. So make the effort and investment you put into your message commensurate with the investment you’ve put into your product or service. Often times, companies will hire architects and designers for a new facility, for example, but fail to represent it accurately by saving money on the marketing. They’ll hire and train great people to deliver a good experience, but never connect them with the public due to low quality advertising.
So don’t do it. Avoid these 5 deadly money-saving ways to kill an ad campaign:

  1.  “We saw a campaign we liked somewhere else that we’d like to copy.” Even if it were ethical to “borrow” creative, for the campaign to work everything about their market and your market would need to be the same—demographics, your own organization’s reputation, your ability to deliver on the promise, attitudes and culture.
  2. “We’ll take the pictures ourselves.” Unless you have a professional photographer on staff, this can be a costly mistake. We called in one of our pros to shoot the photo above to move the needle on the “Wow” factor using a myriad of technical and other tricks that could never be reproduced by an amateur. That photo projects a level of excellence for the urgent care center that can’t be put into words. You want to go there even before you read the copy.
  3. “We can’t afford a professional designer.” Companies will spend thousands of dollars on the media buy but cheat the very message by lackluster, unprofessional or simply ineffective design. Before making this decision, ask how much you’ve already invested in the product or service, and whether this relatively small investment in good design will reflect the image you’re looking for.
  4. “We can’t afford a professional writer.” There are all kinds of writers, and they differ in the same way there are all kinds of balls—footballs, golf balls, ball bearings—you name it. They are not interchangeable any more than a copywriter or a technical writer is. Good copy writers know how to get and keep the reader’s attention, and most importantly, how to sell.
  5. “We can’t afford research.” Unless you’re sure you understand the mind of your target audience, this is like buying a plane ticket to a destination without specifying the destination. Underlying any kind of creative are assumptions that, if wrong, will decimate your campaign.

If budgets are too tight, we’d recommend doing less, but doing it better. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

CMBell Company and Clients Win Eight Awards for Creative Work

Creative work developed by CMBell Company and clients has received eight awards from the 32nd Annual Healthcare Marketing Advertising Awards competition.

We celebrate the hard work of our clients and our team in bringing together these creative projects.

LIttleton Adventist Hospital 25-year Anniversary Video

LIttleton Adventist Hospital 25-year Anniversary Elevator Wraps

Dignity Health Recruiting Display

Adventist Health Southern California Region Strategic Planning Video

Simi Valley Hospital 50-Year Anniversary Print Ads

Simi Valley Hospital 50-Year Anniversary Transit Shelter Poster

Simi Valley Hospital 50-Year Anniversary Elevator Wrap

Could You Be Wrong About What Your Company is Actually Selling?

Health care sells peace of mind and hope—not MRIs. Coke sells a feeling. Cars sell image. Banks sell security and peace of mind. These are the deeper motivations of consumers that lie beneath the actual product decision.
We worked with Dignity Health to sell lifestyle options in this recruiting brochure and display unit. While they are selling jobs, lifestyle motivations are what drive a physician’s decision to align with an organization. They’ll consider questions like these: How will my family flourish in this location? How much satisfaction will I find with my colleagues? How will I find meaning in my career opportunities? What will my lifestyle look like if I take a career with this clinic?
It’s important to reach your audience not just with product benefits, but to address the underlying motivations they have for engaging with you.
So what are you selling?

Dignity Health Recruiting Brochure

Dignity Health Recruiting Brochure

Dignity Health Recruiting Display

Dignity Health Recruiting Display

One Easy-to-Fix Reason Your Ads Don’t Work

You’ve put together an elegant campaign—all the right messages, all the right media. And then it happens.
You drive the reader to your website, and lose them.
This occurs too often, but there’s a simple solution: the campaign microsite.
A campaign microsite is a website that is exclusively developed to support the campaign. It allows you to control the user experience, deliver on your ad promises, and curate the strategic messages you want your viewers to see—without any advertising messages that you can’t control.
It also keeps the viewer from having to dig through your website to find the promised message—which often ends up losing them if the content can’t be found fast.
Want to see a microsite that’s working in action? Email us at for one of our latest examples.

Use Your Company Anniversary as a Brand Refresh

Celebrating achievements are important, but corporate milestones represent an opportunity for more than just celebration. They’re a chance to roll-out your story in a fresh way—to revitalize your brand.
We worked with Simi Valley Hospital to pull together their signature messages about quality and growth, then developed a year-long plan to deliver those messages as part of their anniversary campaign—making the milestone work harder for them and getting more for their investment.

Simi Valley Hospital 50-Year Anniversary Print Ad

Simi Valley Hospital 50-Year Anniversary Print Ad

Simi Valley Hospital 50-Year Anniversary Transit Shelter Ad

Simi Valley Hospital 50-Year Anniversary Transit Shelter Ad

Simi Valley Hospital 50-Year Anniversary Banner

Simi Valley Hospital 50-Year Anniversary Banner

Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges & Universities Campaign

The Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges & Universities is taking a proactive stance to show how private colleges benefit students, communities and their state. We’ve worked with them to make their case and bring their messages to a variety of media—from video and social media messaging to handouts and easy reference wallet-sized cards.


OAICU Infographic

OAICU Wallet Reference Card

OAICU Value Proposition Brochure

OAICU Facebook Graphics

Bigger. Better. More.

Bigger. Better. More. That’s the theme we created to help Littleton Adventist Hospital leverage their 25-year anniversary to refresh their brand and show how they’ve grown to meet their community’s needs. In addition to direct mail and print ads, we worked with them to produce a video, Web content and elevator wraps.

Littleton Adventist Hospital 25-year Anniversary Video


Littleton Adventist Hospital 25-year Anniversary Web Page

Littleton Adventist Hospital 25-year Anniversary Elevator Wraps

5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Measuring ROI


Measuring the results of a business initiative is imperative to good management. But avoid these pitfalls, which can give you inaccurate results:

  1. Thinking that if it can’t be measured, it isn’t important. We know certain things to be true, even though they are hard to measure. It’s true, for example, that an employee who feels under appreciated or unfairly treated will not be as productive and effective as one who is. We know that motivation plays an important role in individual performance. All of these things are impacted by corporate behaviors and language, yet difficult to measure. It’s ok to develop initiatives that build on solid assumptions like these that can’t be measured—as long as you’re intentional about it.
  2. Not taking into account the cost of missed opportunity. So you had 200 people attend your health fair or special event, but used 70% of the organization’s marketing resources for the two previous months. By doing so, you said no to other initiatives—perhaps things that would be of higher value to the organization, like focusing your efforts on a new strategic partnership. Remember that saying yes to something is always saying no to something else. So before you get excited about a result, ask yourself whether what you’re measuring came at the price of a bigger marketing opportunity.
  3. Measuring the wrong things. Measuring social media traffic, for example, might be a misleading data point. It’s possible that a campaign which has high entertainment value, for example, can attract viewers, without influencing purchase decisions. I’ve gotten a laugh from some ads for products I never intend to buy. So take care to be sure that what you’re measuring really can be linked to business results.
  4. Spending more to measure than an initiative costs. Enough said.
  5. Faulty causation assumptions and conclusions. Let’s say you’re launching a new service line, and your marketing campaign yields less impressive results than desired. Is the campaign not working? It could be. But it could also be that the service lacks consumer demand, that one aspect of the campaign wasn’t working (the messaging, or distribution channels?). Or that the competition is too intense. One cannot always presume that sequence suggests cause. When drawing conclusions from measurements, it’s important to understand and account for all of the potential variables contributing to success.

By avoiding some of these common pitfalls, we can all become more credible and successful business people.

Raise Money

Raising money is about connecting people to causes—which requires compelling communication. Here are ways to make sure your fundraising communications do the job:

  • Is your case compelling?
  • Is it brief?
  • Does it create a clear case for the need?
  • Does it create a clear case for the potential results—in specific and personal ways?
  • Does it have a good balance between emotional appeal—and persuasive facts?
  • Is it delivered in a way that gets and holds your donor’s attention? 
  • Is it reaching the right people? 

Need some inspiration? >>

This video was part of a campaign to raise money to keep open a women’s shelter. It was designed for use on their website and with social media, and paired with their other efforts, helped them meet their goal.


Build momentum for a fundraising gala with graphics that signal an evening of fun, like this project we did for a hospital’s annual gala.

A gala can bring provide the perfect venue for delivering your story to community influencers. Don’t assume they all understand your story. Make sure that a few moments are dedicated to building an emotional connection between your company and prospective donors—like this piece does.

Videos Earn Merit Awards in the 31st Annual Healthcare Advertising Award Competition

Videos produced by CMBell Company and an LA-based hospital client have received two merit awards from the 31st Annual Healthcare Advertising Awards competition, the largest health care advertising awards competition in the nation.
The award was given to two of a series of 12 videos CMBell Company developed to tell the story of White Memorial’s Medical Center centennial. One of the award-winning videos was shown at their 2013 Gala at the Beverly Hills Wilshire hotel.
Nearly 4,000 entries were received in this year’s competition. A national panel of judges was engaged in reviewing all entries based on creativity, quality, message effectiveness, consumer appeal, graphic design and overall impact.

Raise Your Credibility

It’s no news that having someone outside your organization speak on your behalf brings credibility to your message.
In doing this, you import the brand attributes of the person delivering the testimony. So whether it’s a patient, customer, celebrity or donor, make the effective testimonial a part of your arsenal of communication tools.
Besides deepening bonds between your organization and its advocates, testimonials have an added benefit: When people agree to speak on behalf of your company, they are taking ownership and investing in your success.

Need some inspiration? >>  

Renown boxer Oscar De La Hoya, a generous supporter of this hospital, talks about what the hospital means to his family and his community in this short video testimonial.

A well-known community leader in Colorado talks about what this hospital means to his community.

A respected community leader and hospital board chair advocates for this hospital’s work in Colorado.

This hospital bought TV ad spots during the Olympics and used real people to tell their unique story. Pairing voice-overs with still images, this black-and-white ad was part of an ad campaign that unpacked 100 reasons to count on this community hospital.


Let a well-known local family talk about their multi-generational relationship with your business, like this community hospital did.

Great Design Matters to Women

Littleton Adventist Hospital wanted to create something that deployed design techniques that would be engaging to expecting moms. It needed to be fresh and to signal the level of quality and patient experience that the hospital delivers.
To deliver a distinctive suite of collateral, we paired illustration with photography to create a mood that evokes the tender, delicate beauty of a new life.
Whatever business you’re in, take your cues from Target and Apple. Both companies recognize that good design is a differentiating business strategy. Here's just one example from our portfolio.

Care to share others?

Littleton BirthPlace Booklet

Littleton BirthPlace Booklet

Littleton BirthPlace My Birth Day Wishes Booklet

Littleton BirthPlace My Birth Day Wishes Booklet

Littleton BirthPlace Folder

Littleton BirthPlace Folder

Littleton BirthPlace Family Education Templates

Littleton BirthPlace Family Education Templates