The 20 best films for fundraising inspiration…

The power of story is the core of great fundraising. Sometimes the power of story to connect and amplify emotional connection is what fundraisers need to help craft their own stories.

So here are my 20 top films (in no special order) that might help fundraisers and givers to fan a few flames of inspiration.

  1. Field of Dreams – the power of conviction, belief and faith when everyone else can’t see what you can
  2. Up – unlikely alliances make dreams come true
  3. Forrest Gump – the triumph of optimism and seeing the very best in people
  4. A matter of life or death – a 1946 classic where love and conviction overcomes the impossible
  5. Schindlers List – in the midst of the worst of human depravity, one man, Oskar Schindler, makes a  difference
  6. The Bucket List – the dying wishes and last hopes of two men, one rich and one poor are explored, expanded and enriched in their last days. A living in memoriam testament.
  7. A Song for Marion – loss and grief give way to a celebration of life and new beginnings
  8. The Shawshank Redemption –  hope, redemption and triumph through small acts of kindness
  9. The Exorcist – nothing to do with fundraising, I just like the bit where the head spins 360 – actually that’s just like fundraising
  10. Citizen Kane – a lost childhood affects your whole life. Whilst money can’t buy love, fundraisers might argue differently
  11. It’s a wonderful life – the perfect christmas appeal. An ordinary life made extraordinary every day by recognising that each act with each person matters
  12. Slumdog Millionaire – through honesty and integrity, life’s experiences give you the answers you need
  13. The Help – ‘you is kind, you is smart, you is important’ – the best affirmation for any one
  14. Back to the Future – nostalgia – delicate but potent according to Don Draper. This romp back and forth in time explores what ifs better than any film…..and even the film itself is nostalgic
  15. The Kings Speech – human fear and frailty at elite levels, reminding us that we are all human from whatever part of society
  16. Rain Man – Simply the acceptance of others through consistency and recognised difference. A perfect lesson in diversity
  17. Titanic – so-called experts can get it wrong in spectacular style sometimes
  18. Brief Encounter – doing the right thing
  19. Star Wars – good triumphs evil against all odds, especially if you have a light saber, the force and a Jedi knight as a mate
  20. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – nothing is ever too late

And finally – 21. Dead Poets Society – whatever happens, carpe diem, seize the day….

Posted in Agencies, Brand, Charity, Citizenship, Community, Emotions, Film, Fundraising, Giving, Ideas, Innovation, Insight, Inspiration, Leadership, Marketing, Not for profit, Philanthropy, Psychology, Teams, Teamwork, Technology, Video and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .


  1. ‘Field of Dreams’ and ‘The Help’ are great inspirational movies! Truly uplifting as they show that if you are passionate about something you should continue to push through, no matter the obstacles you encounter. Fundraising is just the same. Being passionate about your cause will only engage others to be as well, allowing you to make a difference.

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