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WRITTEN BY LINDSEY HIMPHILL

With digital media continuing to dominate the way we receive information, video messaging is becoming more and more crucial to fundraising. In fact, it’s proven that humans respond better to visual data. According to a University of Minnesota study, the human brain can actually process images 60,000 times faster than it can process text. Therefore, creating a compelling, engaging video can be an effective way to introduce your organization or campaign to both existing and potential new supporters.

The great thing is that with advances in technology, you don’t need much more than a smartphone to make a compelling, high-quality video. The question is: what should you include? By being mindful of a few key elements, you can create an engaging video that your organization can use to share your message and motivate your supporters.

Focus on the following to ensure your video has the greatest impact:

LENGTH

In a word, short. The goal is to have your viewers get to the ending of your video, which is usually the best and most important part! If your video is too long, it may increase the chance of viewers dropping off before finishing it. Therefore, it’s very important to create a video that’s long enough to cover your topic, but brief enough to keep it interesting.

When creating your videos, you will also want to consider adjusting the length depending on the social media platform you’ll be using to share in order to optimize your reach. Do you use Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or YouTube? Perhaps it’s a combination of these.

Hubspot recommends the following for each platform:
Instagram: 30 seconds
Twitter: 45 seconds
Facebook: 1 minute
YouTube: 2 minutes

STORYTELLING

This is arguably the most important element of your video. Just as you communicate to your audience through any other media – direct mail, email, social media, etc. – storytelling is your organization’s opportunity to build an emotional connection with your donor. Grab their attention with an emotional hook, something to catch their interest and encourage them to continue watching.

The next element of your video should be to introduce the problem your mission looks to solve. Quickly elaborate the problem to your audience. Who is affected? What is the extent of the problem?

Finally, introduce the solution and provide the answers to the questions you raised when introducing the problem. Explain how your organization is committed to solving this issue. Detail out any specific impact metrics that your organization may have to help quantify this for the donor. For example, with every $20 we can provide a weeks worth of food for a dog at our shelter!

Pro tip: Make your donor the hero. While it’s important to demonstrate the work of your organization, by involving the donor and making them the hero in your story, you are increasing the likelihood of them contributing.

Video Examples
Camp Ramah: An example of how an organization involves the beneficiaries into their storytelling by allowing their campers to share personal testimonies and experiences.
Campbell Giving Day: A longer example that takes time to acknowledge the donors, their alumni, and makes them the hero of the story.

CALL TO ACTION

If the objective of your video is to encourage support, you must end with a strong call to action. You’ve introduced your story and have built an emotional connection with the viewer. Now is the perfect opportunity to explain how they can take action.

Detail out the exact steps taken in order to support. Make them simple and concise so it’s very clear exactly what the supporter needs to do. You can do this by adding text at the end of your video. Create short links to make it easy for your supporters to find your site. Even better, if you have a text-to-donate option, include your text keyword at the end of your video, allowing people to immediately text in to give.

Video Example
Albany State University Giving Day: Quick Instagram video (fitting just under the recommended 30 second mark) with a strong, enthusiastic call to action using text-to-donate.

Would you like to learn more about how MobileCause can help you set up a text-to-donate keyword for your next campaign?

SHARE!

Once you have your video ready with these elements, you are ready to start sharing! Some social media platforms, like Facebook, offer preference to posts with videos in their algorithm, so post your videos and encourage your closest supporters to share on their page. Include your videos in your email communications and incorporate them on your fundraising campaign pages to maximize the advantages that video can provide!

Video Example
American Theatre Wing during their Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative Legacy Fund: An excellent example of an emotional hook at the beginning of a video by sharing a clip of kids in a classroom celebrating a new dance floor, made possible by the generous help of donors.

For inspiration, take a look at some of the video examples throughout. They showcase great storytelling, call-to-actions, and more of the elements we’ve discussed. Ready, set, action!

Lindsey Himphill
Digital Marketing Strategist
MobileCause

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Our goal at MobileCause is to help nonprofit organizations create and manage successful digital fundraising campaigns, raise more money and retain donors longer. Request a free demo with one of our fundraising experts to learn, step by step, how MobileCause can simply help set up your campaigns while transforming your results.

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