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Fundraising Video: 3 Essential Tips

Fundraising video is an essential tool for non-profit organizations, startups and crowdfunders.  Video can be used in many applications to support fundraising efforts.  For non-profit organizations, videos were previously only used as a centerpiece at big non-profit fundraising events.  These days, though, every non-profit needs an online video presence to explain their mission, illustrate their good works and enlist support, all in an engaging package that reaches the hearts of their supporters. Video can be a strong part of your fundraising arsenal. For crowd funding, video has become a required element in presenting new ideas on crowdfunding sites like Indigogo, Kickstarter or  GoFundMe.  And for startups, video really helps as you approach that next round of venture funding.

Fundraising video is an essential tool. Here are 3 Essential Tips for producing a successful fundraising video:

1. Clarify the Message: Start by clarifying the message that you want your fundraising video to convey.  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?  Keep your end audience in mind and design a video which speaks to their interest.   An experienced video production company will be able to help you craft this message in an engaging and effective way, using the medium of video as a tool to support your goals. 

As you shape your fundraising video 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.)

2. Speak to the mind but capture the heart.  Once you define your message, the next step is decide how best to get it across. As with all video production, a successful fundraising video relies on artful storytelling.  Whether you’re convincing venture funding resources that your company has the credibility for success or you’re pitching strangers online about your exciting product or service in a crowdfunding campaign.  Non-profit organizations need to cut through the clutter and noise to prove why their efforts are worthy of donor support.

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 to donate to your cause.  You’ve got to hook into their emotion to get them intrigued, excited, engaged and ready to commit.   In this case, fundraising video can be your “emotional introduction”, followed by more detailed follow up conversations, presentations and “leave behind” materials.  Interviews and testimonials should be heartfelt and “real”, not scripted or overly planned.  Take your viewers inside your efforts with a compelling and heartfelt story which captures their imagination.

If your video will live on your website, 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 fundraising video can be the strongest asset in your pitch.

3. Include a call to action. Always include a call to action in your fundraising video.  This can be as simple as a link to your website to offer more information or a page where you can actually make a donation.  You can include details of your “ask” in your narration copy or use a spokesperson or on camera interview to make it personal.

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.

San Francisco video production company Bayside Entertainment has decades of experience producing fundraising videos for companies like Boy Scouts of America, Aids Lifecycle and Solexel, a solar technology startup.  They have the expertise to guide your video production from start to finish.

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