Fundraising…has there ever been a more intimidating word?
If you’re a nonprofit or charity, it’s a word that you’re all too familiar with, and it’s been responsible for some of your greatest victories and worst defeats. The reality is that getting people to give philanthropically isn’t easy, and though overall giving is continuing to increase—up 4.1% over the past year—getting that money to your organization isn’t easy.
One of the best ways to increase your donations is online, where giving grew 12.1% last year, and that means great digital marketing. From social media posting to blogs and email marketing, the more your charity can do to get the word out about who you are and what you need, the better. Our favorite form of communication is video:
- Millennials donate the most to charity, and they are also the most likely to watch videos.
- 57% of online donors make a gift after watching an effective charity video.
- Video increases brand awareness by 54%.
So, let’s talk about how charities and NGOs can raise more funds and awareness through videos and what that looks like in six steps.
1. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
You are not the first charity to consider making a video, and you won’t be the last. The good news is this means you don’t need to start from scratch. Get inspired by other organizations, particularly NGOs/charities that have held successful campaigns. Then, take an in-depth look at what they do well and where they fail.
Some key questions to ask yourself:
- What was appealing about their videos?
- What was their call to action and did it make you want to follow through?
- What didn’t you like about their video or what rubbed you the wrong way?
- How was their video engagement? Did viewers watch it and like it?
2. Tell a Relatable Story
Define your charity’s need through storytelling with a main character. Focusing on an individual makes it more personal and allows the viewer to feel a connection and relate to better. Research says a single identifiable person in need makes people more likely to donate.
Depicting a struggle up close—as well as individual success—is something that is highly compelling and helps your viewer relate to what you are doing. It also gives viewers someone to root for, as well as an individual they can directly donate too, instead of a cause.
You also want to be careful about focusing too much on the size of your problem. This isn’t relatable and can actually backfire by making your viewers feel overwhelmed. By telling a smaller story on a smaller scale, it’s something your audience can understand.
3. The Right Kind of Emotion Sells
When creating a fundraising video for your charity, an emotional connection is key. People don’t want to part with their money unless they feel/understand the need. Once they feel more sympathy and worry for your cause, they’re more likely to give. The key is using emotion appropriately.
Use emotion (by choosing appropriate media), but don’t overwhelm the viewer. Your audience doesn’t just want to see a sad, touching story. They want a happy ending too. Don’t just focus on the problem; focus on the solution by featuring a positive, uplifting, real-life success story that shows how your organization is making a difference and the importance of supporting your work.
4. Shorter Is Better
The truth of the matter is that your audience has a very short attention span, so you need to do your best to put out all the crucial information quickly and not bog down your video in extra fluff that’s not needed. Still, depending on which age group you’re targeting, the preferred length may vary somewhat, so be sure to tailor length to your audience as well as to the particular social media platform you are posting to.
5. Prove Your Worth with Statistics
Your viewers want to understand the need for your work and hear about your accomplishments. The best way to do this is by sharing statistics that support your story. In this way, your potential donors will derive more meaning and understanding from their contribution to your cause, and feel better about giving. The key is to make sure your stats aren’t the entire story; they should just help it along.
And don’t forget to share statistics about how close you are to meeting your fundraising goal. Research shows that the closer you are to your goal, the more people are willing to help you cross the finish line.
6. Don’t Forget Your CTA
A clear call to action (CTA) is vital for your video. It’s how you tell your audience what you need them to do, and it empowers them to take action and make a difference. The CTA should come at the end of your video and should connect to the message you shared throughout your video and direct your viewers to the next steps. A powerful CTA can include any number of details, but you definitely want to tell the viewer how to make a donation—whether you include a short link to your website or maybe even your phone number.
And don’t forget to consider a CTA that asks for time, not just money. Several studies have revealed that asking donors to give their time first results in more money than just asking for a donation straight at the beginning. So consider a CTA that invites your viewers to talk to you and learn more, and to consider volunteering instead of just donating.
Charity videos can help your fundraising efforts be far more successful if you know what you’re doing and take the time to get the job done right. Just remember that you don’t have to create your fundraising videos on your own. A video platform can help you quickly create, edit, and share professional-quality videos with your audience using your existing team.