Nancy Mansfield had never hired a video production company. The director of WomenLead and a professor of legal studies, Mansfield knew she needed help introducing her program to business leaders and funders. So she put out a call for proposals, and, after a rigorous committee vetting process, the decision was unanimous.
“Everyone else told us we had to script the students for canned on-camera interviews,” says Mansfield. “But [Civic Matters director] Bart [Nason] had confidence in the quality of our program. He told us that he really wanted to get to know the students first, that it was worth his investment to capture their real voices in powerful ways.”
Civic Matters wove together the stories of three women, each with inspiring ambitions, as WomenLead gave them tools and connections they would need to succeed. We also interviewed business leaders who support the program.
We produced several versions of the documentary, at different lengths and for various targeted audiences. WomenLead uses the documentary to recruit students and to approach potential partners and donors. “Everyone I write to,” Mansfield says, “I tell them to go watch the video. That video tells the story better than a whole lot of words.”
WomenLead also shows the video at the orientation session for each cohort entering the program. “Every time, when the video ends, the students erupt in resounding applause,” says Mansfield. “They’re excited to be in the program. They’re inspired.”
Impressed by the transformational experience WomenLead creates for undergraduate women, the Commerce Club Foundation recently awarded the program a $200,000 grant. The grant will support expansion of WomenLead’s Atlanta Civic Leadership Initiative, which will empower women to be engaged and effective civic leaders.