Engage Your Community — Screen a Movie!
Screening a film like The Invisible War, Miss Representation, or Granny’s Got Game is an outstanding way to engage your community in a conversation about women’s issues. Showing a movie is also an excellent recruitment opportunity because people get to learn about what you do and how important AAUW’s work is. Plus, events are easy to set up, can function as fundraisers for your branch, and have zero upfront costs! So, want to host a screening?
Step 1: Pick a film.
Films that resonate with AAUW’s mission are now available through Tugg, a website that lets you host screenings at local movie theaters. Think of it as on-demand viewing except in a theater, not your home. Visit Tugg’s AAUW page and select one of the popular, empowering, and award-winning titles.
Step 2: Choose a venue.
Tugg has relationships with major and independent theater chains nationwide, including AMC, Cinemark, Carmike, and Landmark to name a few. You do not have to pay theater or film rental costs — those are covered by advance ticket sales. You just need to get the word out and sell the required threshold of tickets before the deadline (27 days before the event). The threshold is determined by the venue, date, and time of your screening. For instance, showing a movie at a high-end theater on a Saturday night will require you to sell way more tickets than screening a movie on a Tuesday afternoon at your local cineplex.
Step 3: Decide how to engage your audience in a discussion.
Host an AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund plaintiff for a discussion after a screening of The Invisible War. Invite a Title IX lawyer or senior athlete to speak at your screening of Granny’s Got Game. Or maybe just distribute a questionnaire to the audience. Any of these approaches enrich the screening experience and show your attendees why these issues are important and why they should join AAUW and make a difference. Always have something prepared for your audience to take home telling them what they can do to help.
Step 4: Sell tickets.
Tugg will create an event page through which people can reserve tickets and make contributions to your fundraiser. On the event page, you can also advertise any special features you’re including in the event, such as an introduction or post-film discussion. Attendees aren’t charged until the event is confirmed, which happens when you meet the required threshold of ticket sales. What happens if you don’t sell enough tickets? The event is called off, and no one who reserved a ticket will be charged.
Don’t focus on the number, focus on promoting, and as they say in the movies, “They will come.” You don’t have to do this alone! Think of groups you can collaborate with. Put it in your local paper. Tell your friends and neighbors. Post flyers in the library, grocery store, senior centers, or anywhere people gather. Work with your local college/university member so they can tell their students. And guess what? If you sell more tickets than your minimum, you just made a profit for your branch!
Step 5: Determine what materials you want to give out.
This is a great recruitment opportunity, but a more laid-back approach might serve you better. Make this a get-to-know-us-better opportunity, and reach out to attendees for future events and meetings. Once they know you, a “join us” ask is much easier. The most important thing is to gather their contact info so you can keep them in the loop (have a sign-in sheet at your screening, or pass around contact cards for folks to fill out). Also, don’t forget to give attendees a take-home piece that tells them what they can do to help. They came because of the issue, so show them how they can play a role.
Ready to get started?
Visit Tugg’s AAUW page, select your film, and click “Create Event” to begin planning your event! Take the plunge, and include a movie screening in your annual branch program plans.
Want to recommend a great women’s empowerment movie for possible addition to Tugg’s AAUW lineup? E-mail email@example.com.
Have more questions? Visit Tugg’s frequently asked questions page or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with a Tugg representative.