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Lights, Camera, Action! 4 Tips for Creating an Effective Fundraising Video

Using video in fundraising is a common tactic to move people to action—to donate money to your nonprofit organization or support a specific campaign.

Has your organization wanted to try video but is unsure where to start?

Here are a couple of pro tips to efficiently create a budget-friendly video that engages donors.

Include a Clear Call to Action (CTA).


CTA example

Many fundraisers choose to include a visual CTA at the end of the video, on a simple screen with very short, specific directions.

Another option is to have someone verbalize the CTA. For example, “Visit to support our annual fund!” Whether it’s a Board member or one of the individual’s served by your nonprofit, the audible ask can be just as powerful.

There are many ways to incorporate CTAs into your video. The point is to make the ask clear, urgent and emotional.

Use a script, but don’t read from it.

A script is only helpful if memorized. Reading word for word from a cue card appears unnatural; it’s not likely to evoke an emotional response from your supporters.

Get emotional.

The most powerful way to incite donations is to record a video of someone pouring out their heart to the camera. This is difficult to ask of anyone, be it a Board member or individuals being served by your organization. But as you can see in this example by OneCause partner Live Like Bella, the pull of a personalized, emotional appeal is so strong.

Use your smartphone.

joy's house video screenshotYour video doesn’t require a large production value to be effective. Most can easily be shot with a smartphone – so keep yours handy!

Think of yourself as a journalist. Keep an eye out for fun things happening around you. You may not be planning to create a video, but if you wait for something genuine to happen, it will.

Take a hint from OneCause partner Joy’s House. Their videos do a fantastic job of involving members. The result is much more powerful.

Using video doesn’t have to be complicated and can provide some fantastic results.