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6 Tips to Create Fundraising Videos That Drive Donations

Author: Sonia Urlando
November 10, 2022
🕑 5 min read

Fundraising videos build your case for support, providing viewers with an in-depth look at your organization and inspiring them to take action. It’s no surprise, then, that 57% of people who watch fundraising videos go on to make a donation.

If videos aren’t already part of your fundraising plan, then you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to engage donors and drive meaningful results.

Whether you’re filming a nonprofit story or promoting a specific campaign, following these tips will help you drive donations with your fundraising video.

1. Create an elevator pitch

The first phase of video production involves writing a detailed script. To ensure your message is clear, your fundraising video script should include an elevator pitch—you know, that succinct message about your nonprofit that you can give to a donor if you only have 30 seconds before the elevator doors open.

Ideally, you should’ve already gone through the exercise of creating an elevator pitch when branding your nonprofit. If not, there’s no time like the present to write one.

Keep in mind that this is the hook of your fundraising video. In a few sentences or less, you need to convey your mission and lay out your need for support. Follow these additional tips for an effective pitch:

  • Have a compelling lead: Studies show that, after the first 10 seconds of a video, engagement drops significantly. So make this time count! Immediately introduce who you are, what you do and why you do it with a quick opener like: “1 in 5 children suffer from food insecurity in our community. That’s why we provide free, nutritious meals to those in need.”

  • Tug at the heartstrings: Donors are more inclined to lend their support when they have an emotional connection to the work that you do. Show them who you’re helping and how their lives have changed because of your work. For instance, you could add, “We believe that no child should go hungry. As a result of our food delivery service, we have seen children experience improved health and better academic performance.”

By the end of your elevator pitch, the audience should better understand your organization and be interested in learning more. Read it aloud to a few people and ask for suggestions to make sure it achieves this purpose.

2. Get specific about your campaign

One of the critical mistakes you’ll want to avoid is assuming that the people watching the video already know about the details of your campaign. Start by getting specific about how much money you need.

For example, you might state that you’re looking to raise a total of $100,000 for museum renovations. Or, you might ask for small increments of $20 for an animal hospital’s veterinary bills, stating that every little bit helps.

You could also explain the impact that different levels of giving have on your fundraising goals. For example, a $50 donation provides a hot meal to someone suffering from homelessness and a $200 donation pays for four nights of shelter.

After you’ve considered your specific financial need, answer the following questions for donors:

  • Why are you raising money?
  • Where is your campaign taking place?
  • When will it be completed?
  • Why should they care?

To fill in the blanks, source information from your mission statement to find details about why you need donations, where the money will go and what impact it will have.

3. Leverage video storytelling

If you can turn your fundraising video into a compelling story, you can make a greater impact on your audience and ensure your narrative is remembered.

To adopt a solid storytelling approach, you should:

  • Find a main character: Fundraising videos need a compelling character to inspire support. This could be an active donor, board member or person who benefits from your services. For example, if you’re raising money for cancer research, you could interview a patient who benefitted from the treatments that you helped discover.

  • Set the stage: Decide where your video will take place. For instance, do you want to take viewers behind-the-scenes of your facility or walk them through the community you serve? Even if you’re not an experienced videographer, you should also put some thought into logistical things like natural and artificial lighting, an optimal backdrop, framing, placement and props.

  • Problem solve: Introduce a challenge that your character faces, such as not having access to clean drinking water. Then, show how your organization is working to solve that problem with the help of donations. For example, you could say, “With your support, women like Sarah can drink from the tap without worrying about disease.”

While it may be tempting to stuff your video full of stories, statistics and voices, focusing on one powerful narrative will better engage your viewers. If you’re still having trouble honing your storytelling technique, review other examples of fundraising videos to get inspired.

4. Keep It Short

People are busier than ever and have shorter attention spans, so it’s best to keep your fundraising videos quick and to the point. Make sure the most important information is shared within the first 30 seconds and that you keep the video under 2 minutes in length. The last thing you want is for a potential supporter to close out of the video before you’ve made your appeal.

If you have a lot of information to share, keep in mind that you aren’t limited to just one fundraising video. You can create multiple short videos and stagger their release throughout your campaign to maintain a steady stream of viewer engagement.

5. Be Authentic

An authentic fundraising video helps build trust and support for your cause. Fundraising videos give you the opportunity to put a face to your nonprofit and your cause. So include real people and voices in your video, either as B-roll footage or as talking heads.

You may also want to consider livestreaming during your fundraising campaign as it’s a great way to speak directly to your audience.

This can help you create a personal connection with donors, which can make a huge impact during and after your campaign. But that will only happen if you can authentically show your passion for your cause and explain why it’s so important in simple terms. Steer clear of jargon and technical language to help you seem approachable and human.

6. Include a call-to-action

Whether your nonprofit is hosting an event or a crowdfunding campaign to drive donations, the primary goal of your fundraising video should be to encourage people to take action.

Tell them exactly what you want them to do, whether that’s clicking on a button, following a link, or reaching out to you by phone or email. With an effective call-to-action (CTA), your viewers will be more likely to lend their support. In fact, according to fundraising statistics from 360 MatchPro, simply making your “Donate” button stand out can result in a 190% increase in donations.

Then, as part of your marketing strategy, NXUnite suggests embedding your video on your website, sharing it with your email list and posting a teaser to it on social media with another CTA that says something like “watch this video to learn how you can help.”

While anyone can take out their phone and record a video, you want high-quality content that drives your fundraising campaign forward. With the help of an experienced nonprofit video production company, you’ll have a valuable fundraising video that can be shared across your organization to raise meaningful support.

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