Making of Fundraising Video for Nonprofit

Surgeons doing a bone graft of lower part of leg for a little boy to hopefully help him keep his leg at the Hôpital Baptiste Biblique located in Tsiko, Togo, West Africa. [NIKON D5, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 11400, 1/100, ƒ/9, (35mm = 82)]

Many believe that in terms of likes, shares, downloads and donations, video consistently outperforms all other forms of digital communication. Every campaign should include a series of inspirational fundraising videos with a simple call-to-action.

I think the strength of video is that it lets you control the narrative by pacing and the delivery of a message.

Here some statistics I came across that are worth mentioning here for you.

Important Video Stats Nonprofits Need To Know

According to Into Focus: Benchmarks for Nonprofit Video and a Guide for Creators, a report by See3, YouTube and communications strategy consultancy Edelman:

  • 80% of respondents said video is important to their nonprofits.
  • 91% believe video will become more important in the next three years.
  • 92% value the investment they made in video.
This is the crew for the video I was working on this week. — with Hannah Sammy Strayer and Liz Ortiz at Hopital Baptiste Biblique.

Liz Ortiz served for the past year as a media missionary for ABWE. She just returned at Thanksgiving to the US. Hannah Strayer has been in Togo for a few months and is a full-time media missionary for ABWE.

Together we produced this video for ABWE to help raise funds to make improvements in the Hospital that hasn’t had any major improvements since it was created 35-years-ago.

Here are some tips for telling a nonprofit story to raise funds.

  1. Use storytelling to engage the audience
    1. Start with the problem. What will not happen if the donors don’t give?
    2. Make the problem worse. Be careful to not skim over the problem. If this hospital didn’t expand more than 50% of those coming each day would continue to be turned away and not helped.
  2. Speak To Donors and show them how your organization makes a difference. In our video we let you hear how the hospital was evangelizing and planting churches.
  3. Show The Good You Are Doing with inspiring behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with program recipients. Besides having a good interview, capture b-roll that shows what they are talking about and put this over their interview.
  4. Be Passionate and show donors how they can help contribute. We showed specific needs of Autoclave, X-Ray, Outdated nursery and nurses station were things we showed. Listen to how the doctor talks about those needs.
  5. Ask the viewers to contribute and tell them how.
  6. Caption your videos. Did you know that 85% of videos on Facebook are watched with no sound? It’s true. If you don’t caption your videos, you’ll lose impact with your video because some people won’t bother to watch with the sound on.
Marketing of Video

The best videos cannot do their job without promoting them.

Know your audience. Target your story for a direct and specific purpose—if you don’t know who you’re talking to, the right people won’t be listening. We identified the audience before we started. Then we tailored all the content to that audience.

Use social media: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.

Contact people and ask them to have a watch party. For our video this can be churches and small groups. Every missionary on the field has friends and family that could have a small dinner party and then show the video around a TV.

When you have a group together ask everyone to pull out their phones and go to the video link and then ask them to share with all their friends and family. You might want to even help them by giving some examples of text to promote the video.

Other ways that people can help with the call to action is to even use the video on their birthday and try and raise funds from their friends by asking people to donate. Many people will give to a cause just because they are asking.

Know when to call in the professionals. It’s ok to use a smart phone to shoot video to share on social media, in email, and on your blog. Video doesn’t have to be polished to be effective. However, there are times when a professionally done video is best – like on your home page or at a fundraising event. Find someone who is experienced in creating the kind of video you need so the results are what you want. Call me!