5 ways to make a great fundraising video for a non profit

May 12, 2011

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Chris Savage

Founder, CEO

Some fundraising videos teach viewers about a cause, stir their emotions, and drive them to get involved. But some are annoying or boring and push their audience away. We came up with a few tips to help you keep your video in the first category.

1. Decide how you want your audience to emotionally react to your video. Mold your video around this goal, because emotions are what motivate people to donate to a cause. Here are a couple examples:

If you want viewers to feel compassion, profile the people your organization benefits or use statistics to show the scope of a problem, as in this video:

To provoke nostalgia, you can use other people’s recollections to trigger your viewers’ own memories. This piece, made by Reflection Films, is a good example (but keep in mind that it’s an excerpt from a longer video):

2. Focus in on a story or detail. Don’t try to show every aspect of your organization or project because most of your viewers won’t care. Both of the example videos are more engaging, have more of an impact, and have a longer shelf life because they tell stories.

3. Avoid cliches. For example, don’t say “for the price of a cup of coffee a day” or “making the world a better place.” Cliches don’t usually work because viewers have learned to screen them out.

4. Tell the audience exactly how they can help or where they can find more information. If you’re solely fundraising, tell them where and how they can donate money.

5. Get feedback on your video from people who aren’t involved in your cause. Ask them whether your video comes across as coherent and interesting to an outsider.

If you follow these tips, video can be an invaluable fundraising tool. It can give your audience a fuller picture of your cause and your efforts than any other media. Therefore, it can provoke more of a response than any other media.

Chris Savage

Founder, CEO

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