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Crafting an Effective Fundraising Video

The goals of each organization or project can vary, but what doesn't change is the fact that video plays a vital role in online fundraising as a visual and engaging storytelling medium. With that in mind, here are 5 tips on crafting successful fundraising videos.

3. Include Rewards and Perks in the Video

One of the biggest mistakes I see in many fundraising videos is that they leave out rewards or perks. While each fundraising platform may call them something different, the main idea is that viewers can receive some incentives depending on their level of contribution.

The reward levels are decided on by the campaign creators, so they can be unique and customized to their audience. These should be mentioned by your on-camera subject, included in the voice-over, or featured as a visual graphic.

Incentives can help motivate viewers to donate, which can lead to the success of your campaign. Chances are high that you’ll get a call back and reoccurring work from this client if you help them run a successful campaign. Check out this example from the Project For Awesome 2015 Indiegogo campaign video, which explains early on that supporters will get cool stuff for donating (Figure 3, below).

Figure 3. The Project For Awesome campaign video.

4. Include the Call-To-Action

Another must-have in any fundraising video is a strong call-to-action. It may sound like a no-brainer, but you need to instruct viewers on what they’re supposed to do after watching the video.

The majority of the time, that will be to donate or back the campaign, so pointing these things out on the campaign page can be helpful. If the fundraising platform allows for YouTube videos, then you can also use YouTube’s back-end to add interactivity through clickable cards and annotations.

You also want to stress the importance of donating immediately, especially if your client is using an all-or-nothing platform like Kickstarter, where they only succeed if they reach 100 percent of their campaign goal. Data has shown that projects that reach 10 percent of their goal within the first few days of a 30-day Kickstarter campaign are more likely to get funded, for example.

Another suggestion is to recommend that supporters share the campaign with their personal networks after they’ve donated. You can also ask viewers who can’t donate to share the video or campaign as a level of support. We often include this call-to-action in the script for the talent. It reminds everyone that they can help in other ways if they can’t financially commit.

5. Plan for Every Day

One final tip that is that you need to make sure that your client has a well thought-out promotional plan for the video and campaign. I can’t stress enough how important each day means to their success.

Social media, blog posts and guest contributors can all help to promote the campaign. If it makes sense for the client, then they may want to think about creating complementary content for their YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram channels throughout the campaign.

For clients, this content can help keep them active across different channels and encourage cross-linking back to their campaign page. This traffic can help get their campaign even more exposure on platforms like Kickstarter, which creates “Staff Picks” of their favorite projects (Figure 5, below).

Figure 5. Kickstarter Staff Picks.

This could also lead to additional videos needed for their social media channels, which may mean more work for you! Bring these items up to your client in the pre-production phase and think about all of the different ways online video can help their campaign succeed.

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For many of us who are creating business and branded videos, what a viewer does after watching our video is an essential part in our sales and marketing strategies. This tutorial demonstrates how to create a clickable call to action within our videos using Vimeo Plus or Vimeo PRO. The purpose of a marketing call to action is to provoke an immediate response from our audience.