Videos Are Powerful Fundraiser Tools

Fundraisers with videos raise 70 percent more on average. Videos are your most impactful tool to connect emotionally with potential donors, heighten awareness and boost donations. They’re also one of the best chances you have for your campaign to go viral, especially when combined with a great social media strategy. When your fundraiser page includes an engaging video and several great photos, you’ve optimized the imagery factor and set yourself up for success.

  1. Get Started

    You don’t have to be a pro or own an expensive video camera to capture and edit a high-quality video. If you are well versed in video or know someone who is, you’re one step ahead of the game. If not, simply use your camera, smart phone, iPad or computer camera to begin.

    • If you’re using a phone or camera, be sure to use a tripod or other stabilization method.
    • Record in a well-lit room or outside, with the light behind the shooter and on the subject(s). Try to avoid super-bright, direct sunlight on the subject’s face, as it often causes them to squint.
    • Make sure you are close enough to the subject to get good audio. For best audio quality, consider buying an external microphone that you can plug in to your phone or camera and clip on to the subject’s shirt.
    • Be close enough to the subject(s) to show the whites of their eyes. Faces connect us and communicate emotion.
    • Don’t center the subject. Keep their eyes in the left, right, top or bottom third of your frame.
    • Shoot a sample scene and make sure the audio and lighting are correct.
  2. Be Prepared

    Whether you are the subject of the video or you are recording the recipient and others for the video, it’s best to know what will be said or discussed beforehand and have a general idea of the style of video you would like to create.

    • Prepare a script if it involves someone directly telling a story and practice so it looks natural on video.
    • Prepare interview questions if you will be discussing topics with the subject(s) and distribute them beforehand, so they have time to think about how they will answer.
    • If the story will be told in a background narrative that complements various video scenes, prepare a script and practice so it sounds natural.
    • Secure or create infographics beforehand, and prepare text beforehand if you plan to tell part of the story in written form within the video.
  3. Speak and Record from the Heart

    Great fundraiser videos not only take quality into account; they should tell an honest, heartfelt story that resonates with donors and inspires them to contribute to the cause.

    • Make it personal by letting the viewer get to know the beneficiary. If possible, record the beneficiary in their home, in their community or with loved ones. Record family and friends speaking about their relationship with the beneficiary and what makes them so special.
    • Record subjects and scenes that communicate the beneficiary’s need for help.
    • Be clear about how donations will make a huge difference for the beneficiary.
    • Don’t forget to ask for donations in a sincere way that creates a sense of urgency and action.
  4. Editing for Impact

    Many smart phones have built-in editing capabilities, or you can us software such as iMovie or other easily downloadable applications.

    • Keep it short. Videos of three minutes or less hold the most attention.
    • Be creative and imaginative. Take photos or find compelling images that further illustrate the story. These can be rolled into the video during editing.
    • Add music. Sometimes opposites work best. For sad moments, consider happier, inspirational music.
    • Include the fundraiser beneficiary name and cause in your title to make the video easily searchable.
    • Give viewers a way to respond by featuring your fundraiser URL or campaign hashtag at the end of your video.
    • Post your video to YouTube and Facebook to begin seeing the power of social media in crowdfunding.
    • To boost the quality and creativity of your video, consider enlisting the help of friends with experience editing video or college students who have honed their video editing craft.
  5. Get Inspired

    Numerous YouCaring fundraisers have featured great videos that have resulted in highly successful campaigns. Following are several examples.

Reimagining Your Fundraiser

A campaign page with an inspiring video and plenty of compelling images will set you on the path toward fundraiser success. For more great fundraiser strategies, visit our Fundraiser Tips page.