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Nonprofit Strategies

Lights, camera, give: How fundraising videos help hit your campaign goal

You don't need a pro camera to create compelling fundraising videos. These 5 tips for incorporating video into your next campaign make it easy.

Kylie Davis
October 27, 2021

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If a picture is worth a thousand words, how could a video help amplify your message?

Fundraising videos are an excellent tool to help raise awareness for your good cause. You can use video to help live stream events, spread the word across social media, share the story of your organization, or even thank major gift donors

Below, we share plenty of tips to help incorporate video into your campaign efforts. With the right strategy, using video can help broaden your donor base and ultimately help you hit your campaign goal. 

5 ways to incorporate fundraising videos into your campaign 

Fundraising videos: Buckle Up Jimmy Fallon GIF
Contrary to popular belief, video production doesn't require professional equipment or a multi-thousand dollar budget.

Quality videos can easily be shot on your smartphone or DSLR camera, then edited using affordable (or free!) tools like VSCO, iMovie, or Canva (Pro tip: Try and find the best lighting in your house, preferably natural light!). When you're ready to launch, you can use video to promote your cause in one of the following ways. 

1. Share your story 📹

Fundraising videos are a great way to capture your audience's attention. To help hit your fundraising goal, add a cover video to your campaign page. That way, your video is featured front and center when a potential donor comes to learn more about your cause. 

You'll want to keep your cover video between 2–6 minutes in length—long enough to cover your story, yet short enough to hold your viewers' attention. Here are a couple ideas for collecting footage: 

  • Founder story: Interview the founders or executives of your nonprofit organization, explaining how and why you got started.
  • Volunteer interviews: Interview and collect candid shots of your most loyal volunteers in action, sharing why they're so passionate about your mission.
  • Past events: Share footage from past events and the impact you made (if you have statistics to back it up, share these as well).

2. Thank your donors 👭

Thanking your supporters isn't just polite, it's an effective strategy to hit your campaign goal. Research shows that donors who receive a thank-you within 48 hours of making a contribution are four times more likely to give again.

When sending a thank-you note, you want to ensure your message is as personal as possible. While a handwritten card is nice, it's not as nice as gratitude expressed face-to-face. With Givebutter's integration with ThankView, you can send personalized thank-you videos to your supporter base. These short videos can be sent via text or email, and help you quickly thank donors, track your ROI, and ultimately hit your campaign goal. Here are a few tips to get started: 

  • Update your CRM: ThankView syncs directly with your CRM software to send a personalized video to a large group of people. You record one video, and ThankView uses your data to automatically personalize each one so the donor feels like it was made just for them. Be sure all contact info is updated with your current subscribers before sending.
  • Call in the recruits: To make your video feel more personal, use ThankView's video request feature to ask volunteers, staff, and those impacted by your campaign to send in clips. Using a variety of faces and stories will bring your cause to life (and who knows, perhaps a donor will spot a friend or colleague in a clip!).

3. Expand your social media reach 💕

Curating a social media presence can help raise awareness, promote upcoming events, and increase your donor base. While social media algorithms are constantly changing, one trend that isn't going away is video. 

With video platforms like TikTok experiencing a 457% growth rate in 2020 alone and Instagram announcing it would prioritize sharing videos over photos, video must hold a place in your social media strategy. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Collect footage from volunteers: If you're having a park clean-up day or a food drive, ask volunteers to snap a few video selfies to be used in Instagram Reels or TikTok videos.
  • Share annual events: To promote an upcoming fundraising campaign, share footage from last year's event to reminisce and garner excitement. 
  • Convert your audience: While video can help build trust amongst your audience, don't forget that you're trying to build your supporter base—not just add more followers. Use tools like one-click social media sharing to convert new followers into first-time donors. 

4. Throw a hybrid event 🎥

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit sector experienced a large boost in virtual events. In fact, industry experts believe the virtual event space will continue to experience a 23.7% compound annual growth rate from 2021–2028

To capture the safety of a virtual campaign with the camaraderie of an in-person event, many nonprofits are switching to hybrid events.

By live streaming your event, you can reach more people and ultimately raise more money for your good cause.

Here's how to do it: 

  • Hit multiple channels: Capture a larger audience by using a display livestream across multiple platforms, including Zoom, YouTube, Facebook, and more.
  • Use virtual check-ins: Want to know which supporters attended your in-person event versus the virtual livestream? Use virtual check-ins to tally your two audience segments.
  • Schedule your live stream: Trying to stick to a set itinerary? Automatically display (or hide) video content on your campaign pages within designated timeframes.   

5. Build a multi-channel marketing strategy 🎉

Supporters absorb information in different ways. Therefore, if you have the time, resources, and budget, you should try to incorporate multiple marketing channels into your online fundraising efforts. 

Fundraising videos can elevate blog posts, email newsletters, campaign pages, and social media posts to create a well-rounded marketing strategy. If you're just getting started with video marketing, try using one of these tips: 

  • Add a testimonial: Interview someone whose life has been personally changed by your organization, and record a 30–60 second clip of them sharing their story.
  • Create an explainer video: Create a long-form (think 3–5 minute) video explaining your mission and values as an organization, and share it on your blog or monthly newsletter. (Pro tip: You can break a long video apart into 15–30 second clips, and share them as Instagram Reels).
  • Re-package your live streams: Even after your virtual event is over, you can re-share content to help grow your audience. Edit and repackage footage used from your virtual or hybrid event, then use it as an enticing opt-in to help grow your email marketing list. 

Fundraising videos can help your good cause stand out 

Nick Cannon Party Time GIF

Visual content—like photos and videos—can grow your audience and ultimately help you hit your campaign goal. In fact, video is an important element to use within any successful fundraising strategy, allowing you to thank donors, grow your social media reach, and create virtual or hybrid events. 

Plus, video is a tool that can be used effectively with almost any marketing channel.

By adding video to your social media posts, fundraising pages, website, and newsletter, you can create dynamic content that helps deepen your connection with your audience.

Best yet, you don't need a big budget to create a share-worthy fundraising video. Using nothing more than your phone, webcam, and Givebutter, you can create a nonprofit video to help hit your campaign goal. Plus, Givebutter offers plenty of built-in tools like virtual live streaming, thank-you video messages, and cover videos to help connect with your audience. 

Givebutter is the world’s first completely free end-to-end fundraising platform that brings together everything you need to successfully raise funds, track progress, and engage your supporters. Sign up today to get started.

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