Minnesota Nonprofit Cookie Cart Increases Gala Donations by 15% Using Video

Minnesota Nonprofit Cookie Cart Increases Gala Donations by 15% Using Video

Nonprofit Video Production



Minneapolis, Minnesota



Use Case

Gala Fundraising Video


“It’s more than just a cookie, it’s preparing me for my future.”

Cookie Cart provides a fun and educational first job experience for teens in North Minneapolis and East St. Paul, with a strong emphasis on unlocking the potential within. Through its creative and engaging bakery and classroom environments, youth employees learn leadership and job skills that will last them a lifetime. Youth staff who go through Cookie Cart’s doors grow their confidence in a professional environment and are taught that they each have unlimited potential for success.


Inspiring Donors to Give More Generously to Cookie Cart

Fundraising events, such as galas and auctions, are popular ways that organizations like Cookie Cart use to raise donations, awareness and showcase the success of its mission to supporters. This year, the team at Cookie Cart wanted to create a captivating video to share the stories of its youth employees with its audience at its annual Chef’s Dinner gala. They’d used video before, but were still in search of a video team that could not only make a great video, but could make the video experience awesome overall, and bring out the unique personalities of these teens.

When approached by this challenge, we were excited for the opportunity to make a video that was not only engaging to viewers but engaging to the teens that were part of making it.



We started with an exploration session to narrow in on the core message: “How Cookie Cart helps teens discover their potential within.” From there, we developed a mood board that represented the feeling we’d convey. Youth are full of energy and the video would undoubtedly have to capture this. The mood board included visuals of interviewees talking directly to camera, bright lighting, colorful scenes, and smiling faces.

Finally, we had to find the story. To get the most authentic story across, we avoid interviews from board members and teachers. It needed to be directly from the people who were benefiting from the organization – the youth staff! We conducted pre-interviews with a variety of teens to learn about their perspective and how Cookie Cart impacted them. This allowed us to create better interview questions that help us get the most authentic stories the day of production.


We filmed the video over two days with a three-person crew, one day devoted to each of their locations (Minneapolis and St. Paul). These days included capturing candid interactions in the bakery and classroom settings, interviewing teens at each of the locations, and filming with our drone. 

In order to better captivate the audience, we decided to have the speakers talk straight to camera. Being on camera is already difficult enough – so looking straight at the lens could be a real challenge! To make this approachable, we used a teleprompter that showed the interviewer’s face, making it feel like a natural conversation. The youth were really able to open up and forget they were talking straight to camera.


Of course, Cookie Cart used the video at their annual Chefs’ Dinner Gala, but they were also able to use it in email marketing to donors, Give to the Max, and on their website. By distributing it across multiple channels and events, Cookie Cart was able to increase the video’s effectiveness and raise more donations. Additionally, Cookie Cart was able to pull stills from the video to incorporate throughout its website and social channels.


Increased Event Donations by 15%

Not only did the guests love watching the video, the youth and team members of Cookie Cart had a wonderful time creating it. The Chef’s Dinner event increased its donations by 15% from its previous year, despite being completely virtual. Not only that, Cookie Cart set a new donation record at its event. Talk about success!

Blue Key Media Google Review

During each step of the process - from initial conversations about our video needs and goals, to pre-interviews with our youth employees, to filming and editing - Blue Key’s team was intentional, thoughtful, and creative. They highlighted our youth employees and our work beautifully. We highly recommend Blue Key Media to all nonprofit organizations!...

Taylor Lubich

Marketing & Communications Senior Manager | Cookie Cart

Nonprofit Video Production

Are you looking to better connect with your audience? Maybe video can help. Schedule a free, no-pressure consultation with one of our video experts to see how video content could help you accomplish your goals.

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Natasha Carlson

Natasha Carlson is the Creative Producer at Blue Key Media. She helps manage communication and logistics across all the projects.