You don’t need a film crew or a professional to get this done.
All you need is your phone and you can make a video like this one. This was produced by Linda Bak from Tampa Bay SPCA. It’s just under two minutes, and the results have been fantastic.

  • One donor gave a $2,000 matching gift for Giving Tuesday.
  • The video was posted on Facebook and got over 1,500 views.
  • Donors whom Linda had not been able to meet with got in touch and gave positive feedback.
  • Another lapsed donor made a gift on Facebook.
  • Another donor gave a donation through their 401(k).
  • Another donor gave $3,000 – the most they’ve ever given in one year.

And the results are still coming in.
What Linda did with this very simple video is this: she took the donor right to the scene. The donor is in there, looking at the animals and watching Linda interact with them in a loving and caring way.
You can do this, too. It doesn’t matter what your cause is. While it’s true that animals and kids draw a lot of attention and have high emotional impact, taking the donor to the scene of your cause can be just as effective.
Just take the following seven steps:

  1. Get the problem your organization is addressing firmly seated in your head. You must have a solid grasp of the societal problem your non-profit is organized to solve.
  2. Secure a clear understanding of the societal benefit your organization is providing. Sort of like #1 above, but with the nuance that you are clear about the solution.
  3. Decide in advance how you’re going to showcase the problem in your video. You need to plan ahead. Don’t leave this to a spontaneous on-the-scene decision, or you’ll mess it up. Plan ahead.
  4. Decide in advance what you’re going to say to your donor so that you (a) thank them for what they have already done, and (b) they can see and feel what else they could do as a result of watching your video. Remember, this is a touch point, so your donor needs to see and hear that they have actually made a difference through their giving. AND you are setting up the next ask, as well.
  5. Be sure you just speak to one person on the video. This is an often-made mistake, where the speaker gets on and says: “all of you” instead of just “you.” There is only ONE person watching the video – talk to him or her. I learned this principle early in my career when I was an on-air person at a radio station. My mentor told me: “Richard, the microphone is just one person. Not thousands. Just talk to that person.” It was very helpful.
  6. Make sure that what you produce talks to the heart, NOT the head. You need to have emotional impact. Ask yourself the question, what is it about what you do that grabs your heart? Then address that on the video. Get out of your head.
  7. Keep it short. If you can, keep the final product under 2 to 3 minutes. Your donors don’t have the time to listen to a lecture.

OK, there you have it. Now get out there and make several of these. There is still time to do it before the year ends. And you’ll be surprised at the impact.
PS — For more ideas about how to take your donor to the scene, download our free White Paper on the subject.