Video for Fundraising

Is video an effective fundraising tool?  Here at Bayside Entertainment, we are often approached by clients with this question.  Whether it is a non-profit preparing for a giving campaign or a start up going for their second round of venture capital, video can be a strong part of your fundraising arsenal.

As with all video, it comes down to storytelling.  What message do you want to convey to entice viewers to fund your project? Are you touting a technological breakthrough or major achievement? Are you sharing your success stories? Are you delivering a personal message to a remote audience? Do you have something exciting in the works that needs a funding boost? Are you introducing your organization to a new audience? Or hitting up previous donors?

Once you define your message, the next step is decide how best to get it across.  Our rule of thumb harkens back to the dance master Fred Astaire.  His quote went something like this: “make it perfect and cut 2 minutes”.  People are busy.  They don’t want a heavy handed, overblown “ask”.  They want to know, quickly, why its important enough for them to dig into their wallets.  You’ve got to hook into their emotion to get them intrigued, excited, engaged and ready to commit.

As you shape your message, make sure you have succinct copywriting and/or soundbites to send a very clear message.  If your video is accompanying an overall presentation, make sure it is not repeating information your viewer will hear again (unless that information is a shocking statistic that will leave a lasting impression that bears repeating for emotional impact.)  In this case, video can be your “emotional introduction”, followed by more detailed follow up conversations, powerpoint presentations and “leave behind” materials.

If your video will live on your website, it will similarly, not live alone.  But it can and should be your star.  Make sure to have your site designer create a prominent location so that people can see it right away.  A good video can be the strongest asset in your pitch.

And don’t forget about using video as a thank you.  Nothing build loyalty more strongly than letting people know that their gift or investment made something incredible possible. Producing a short success story video will reinforce your connection and leave the door open for the next opportunity that they can be your champion.

Check out this additional resources on video as a fundraising tool: