5 Ways to Inspire Charity and Engage Donors with Compelling Videos

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Video is becoming the medium of choice in online media consumption for people at home and on-the-go.

For example, Facebook reports that 100 million hours of video are watched on the platform every day and more than half of all YouTube views now come from mobile devices.

So what does that mean for nonprofits? If you want to succeed, video is your best bet. In fact, an astounding 57% of donors make a donation after watching an online video.

Inspire charity and your donors

From getting the word out about your cause to raising money for your next fundraising campaign, video gives you the power to connect with your donors unlike any other form of communication. But if you’re like many nonprofits, you may find video intimidating or are unsure where to start.

That’s why we’ve put together these five key tips for nonprofits looking to inspire donors with compelling videos.

1. Keep your video authentic

Video doesn’t have to be perfect.

There’s no need to hire an expensive producer to create a Hollywood-level production. In fact, a video caught on a smartphone can be just as compelling as one that’s professionally done, as long as you’re capturing essence of the story you’re trying to tell.

Which leads us to our next point.

2. Give your audience a reason to care

Effective storytelling is the key to success when it comes to nonprofit videos.

Show viewers the who/what/why of your cause and be sure to capture the raw emotion behind your mission. You can do this by interviewing recipients of your program or filming key members of your organization as they discuss what it is your organization does.

According to Google, 75% of donors use video to understand the impact of a nonprofit, and impact ultimately drives their decision to make a donation. So this is your chance to showcase the power of your cause by highlighting the good you are doing and showing your audience what their donations help you achieve!

3. Broaden your reach

With the social media software, sharing your video across channels has never been easier. Send it in an email, publish it on Facebook or Instagram, or link to it directly in a text message. You can even forget pre-recording a video altogether and broadcast your nonprofit on Facebook Live.

Be sure to vary your content (video and otherwise) so you don’t make the mistake of only asking for money, which will cause your audience to tune you out.

Pro tip: Including a YouTube link in a text message populates a video thumbnail on iOS devices, giving your supporters a glimpse of the content right within their messaging app.

4. Make it easy for donors to give wherever they are

Let’s say you’ve done all of the above. Great! But the work doesn’t end there.

In order to get the most out of your nonprofit video, you must include a clear call-to-action to get viewers to donate to your cause.

The best way to do this is with mobile and online fundraising software that allows donors to donate from any device, at any time. That means linking to a mobile-friendly donation form in the video description and including a text-to-give keyword and shortcode to empower donors to make a donation to your nonprofit in response to a text message right on their mobile phone.

If you want viewers to sign-up to volunteer, attend an event, or complete a petition, those forms should be mobile friendly as well!

No matter what your CTA is, your viewers should be able take action with just a few taps or clicks whether they’re using a PC, tablet, or smartphone, so making sure every online form is mobile-friendly is key.

5. Always say “thank you”

This nonprofit video advice one may seem like a no-brainer, but public gratitude is unfortunately commonly overlooked.

As soon as a donor makes a gift, they should receive a thank you from your organization, no matter what the medium. In video, it’s just as important.

Link to a short thank-you clip that viewers can watch directly after a donation is made. Consider filming a 30-second clip of your executive director expressing their gratitude and telling viewers what their donation will help you accomplish.

You can also send personal thank-you videos in an email or text message, or post a thank-you video to your social media page after a successful online fundraising campaign. Bonus points if you tag donors in the post or call them out by name!

As you can see, video doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, it can be as fun and fruitful as you make it. So grab your smartphone and a couple of team members, and make it happen.

Other ways for nonprofits to inspire charity from their donors?

There’s lot more to learn regarding your content strategy. The Capterra nonprofit technology blog is full of best practices and nonprofit software advice you will need to make the most of your organization:

Do you think video is an effective strategy to inspire donors? If so, how have you implemented videos to boost your campaigns and content marketing strategy, or would you be willing to share a favorite nonprofit campaign video?

Be sure to share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below!

Looking for Nonprofit software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Nonprofit software solutions.

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About the Author


Lindsay Newman

Lindsey Newman is the senior copywriter at MobileCause, the world’s leading mobile and online software for the next generation of fundraising. MobileCause helps nonprofits raise more money faster than ever before by giving them the power to reach donors anytime, anywhere, on any device. Stay in touch with her on LinkedIn, and be sure to keep up with MobileCause on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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