5 Tips to Improve Fundraising

The video revolution is happening. Video is moving from the “experiment” category to a mainstream medium to boost fundraising and donor engagement. But what needs to happen for you to participate?  Let’s take a look.

In the 2014 Fundraising Technology Trends Study, the “optimal technology profile of a successful fundraiser” utilized a variety of communications channels and web-based tactics. One of the key success factors included video content sharing and blogging. Here’s what the successful initiatives looked like:

  1. Use video to tell your organization’s compelling stories more vividly.
    At the heart of fundraising is story telling. The stories of your unique organization, the successes, the good work that you do. Video provides engaging content that helps you reach new donors, drive awareness and connect personally with your growing base of donors and fans. So think about what makes you different. What is your passion?  Why are you doing the work that you do?
  2. Share and share a like. People like to share stuff they find funny or touching. A story that reflects  their own sensibilities or beliefs.  Strong video can help here – and create assets that people will hit the send button on to their network and beyond, creating even more frequency and reach for your story. Remember the ice bucket challenge?  An incredible campaign that really shows how stories can catch fire. 
  3. Create Short snippy videos made for mobile viewers. YouTube claims to have more than a billion users and more than half of their video views come from mobile devices. That’s a huge number, and most of these views are shorter (in the 1-2 minute mark maximum), so make sure to create some mobile-friendly videos. Again, this will increase engagement and expand your message. 
  4. Have a wide variety of video formats at hand. Adweek says one of the trends is a shifting focus to new video formats—everything from the short animated GIF, to the six-second Vine, to long-form video and even live streaming broadcasts. Video quickly captures people’s imagination, amplifies big ideas and gets people thinking about what they can do and how they can help your organization. 
  5. Don’t stress it. The last thing you want is more work. Your ‘To-Do’ list is already a mile long. So whatever your approach, take your time in creating a good plan and a great story. Have fun with it, then work with like-minded partners that can bring your vision to life.

We know limited budgets and staff resources can make it challenging for nonprofits to hit all the marketing check boxes. But you can make your fundraising much more effective by using our Content Studios to create numerous assets, including  your brand anthem video, video teasers, photos, interview transcripts and more. That way, you’ll have all you need to fill your social media channels, blog posts, website pages, press releases, ads, newsletters and more. In fact, you’ll be a content and fundraising machine.

Want ROI proof?  Historically, we’ve seen nearly every one of our films raise $5 for every $1 spent. Here’s more info on that.

In any event, cheers to great storytelling and great fundraising. And may the next year be your best year yet.


Author: Chris Donaldson

Chris Donaldson is Executive Producer at HCFmedia. Can film making change the world? The Short Answer: Yes.