Balloon BoyThe father of Balloon Boy, Richard Heene, finally released video footage that he recorded in his backyard. The 3-minute video shows the launching of a home-made contraption that started an epic news story about a boy and a balloon. On October 15th, News helicopters showed live footage from the air of the balloon zooming through the sky, allegedly with Balloon Boy inside. Evidently, the Heene family planned the hoax a couple of weeks before the incident and has now admitted that the balloon boy stunt was all for publicity.

People all over the world, just like me, believing that Balloon Boy was inside, watched the balloon soaring through the air, their hearts filled with dread. Some of us could not keep our eyes off the screen, hoping for some glimpse of a positive outcome. Some of us could not watch, afraid of the possibility of observing the horrible demise of a little boy. Some prayed with shaky hands and pounding hearts and some, with the means, could not stay home and watch, but jumped in their helicopter to try to help in the rescue. I was amazed at the varied and overwhelming response to a (supposedly) desperate situation.
Despite the fact that you now may feel cheated out of your heartfelt concern and prayers, try to remember your emotions when you believed that this 6 year-old little boy needed rescuing. Many of us would have done anything we could to help save Balloon Boy. Isn’t it amazing how a single video could impact us like this? But this balloon story really captivated the entire world for several hours!

The nonprofit organizations that I know exist to help people with a need. Your job as a charity fundraiser is to expose the need with an emotional appeal and that, on its own merits, will inspire people to act upon the need. Your donors have resources, like time, money, and their devotion to your cause, that they will be more willing to give when they can feel the need. I highly recommend including an emotional appeal in your live fundraising charity auction. A short 3 minute fundraising video is easy to create and can captivate your audience in a way that nothing else can. How could your nonprofit benefit from a fundraising video presentation in the emotional appeal at a charity auction event?