Most solicitations don’t begin with the words “don’t give,” but that’s the approach being used this year by the private Oakwood School in a clever, celebrity-packed appeal timed to its annual fundraising drive.
In the 3 1/2-minute video, Danny DeVito, Jason Alexander, Steve Carell and other Hollywood stars voice such sentiments as “The economy is in the toilet, so don’t give” and “You’d be stupid to give” before getting to the real point: “Unless you care about your children and their future,” and “Unless you care about families who had a hard year and need some help with tuition.”
Created by parent volunteers, the video is an example of the inventive methods private schools are using this spring to generate giving at a time when traditional benefactors may be hard-pressed themselves.
Oakwood’s “Don’t Give” campaign was a precursor to its major fundraiser, a star-studded event Saturday at The Lot in West Hollywood, featuring comedy, music and an auction. The video was meant to be an internal communication but was distributed on YouTube, said James Astman, Oakwood’s head of school.