Using Video For Your Fundraising
In this new age of technology, video is a key way to grab your audience’s attention.
A video lets you take people visually and emotionally to the front lines of your work so they can become engaged in your project luckily, videos don’t have to be professionally produced to be effective.
You can use your smartphone to record a good video that shows your supporters and prospects what your mission is all about. If you’re camera shy, that’s okay. Practice makes perfect!
Preparing to Make a Video
Before you hit the “record” button, make sure you are prepared. You don’t need a script, but you don’t want to sound like you’re just winging it either. Typing or writing out some bullet points on paper is a good idea.
If you’re new to video or feeling nervous, record the first one knowing you’re going to delete it. Make multiple recordings if necessary. It’ll take the pressure off! And honestly, it might turn out good enough that you want to use it!
As you’re planning your video, here are some things to think about:
- Message. What is the main point of your video? What do you want your audience to take away or do?
- Location/Time of Day. Where are you shooting your video? Will you be right in the middle of the action or in a quiet location?
- Wardrobe. Yes, you need to think about what you’ll wear so you look good on screen. If your organization has branded apparel like a t-shirt or cap, wear that. If they don’t, wear something conservative and single-colored. Busy patterns don’t do well on video, plus it’s not very professional.
- Camera angle. You will need a tripod or a stand to keep your phone steady.
- Lighting and sound. You do need good lighting and sound. Keep the sun or lights on your face, not the back of your head, so you don’t get weird shadows. Eliminate background noise and use a microphone if possible.
Once you’ve recorded your “real” video, it’s time to sit back and watch the video you have created. Pay attention to every detail so you can make it as good as possible!
Now its time for you to really look at YOU. Saying lots of “um’s” and “so’s”?
- Is the camera at a flattering angle, and are you satisfied with your appearance?
- Are you blinking a lot? Coughing or clearing your throat?
- Are you making weird facial expressions? Tightly folding your arms and appearing closed off?
- Now, close your eyes for a moment and just listen. Is your voice clear and easy to understand? Any background sounds that are interfering?
- Open your eyes again! This is a video after all. How does the environment translate on the video? Are you showing what your viewers want to see?
- Are you letting them into your world?
- How do you feel about your message?
- Are you engaging and easy to listen to?
- How does your voice sound? Are you flat or monotone?
Be prepared to make some edits!
General Video Tips
- Keep your recorded video short — no longer than 5-7 minutes.
- Always shoot your videos with your smartphone held horizontally. This plays better on YouTube and Social Media. Use a tripod or selfie stick to make things easier. You can find them on Amazon. Very inexpensive.
- Always introduce yourself at the beginning of each video.
- If you ARE doing a live video, spend the first 1-3 minutes small talking while you explain to those tuning in that you’re just waiting a couple of minutes for any last-minute viewers.
- Look at the camera, not at yourself.
- If you're asking for money, be confident. Look directly at the camera and make sure you can ask without stuttering. Tell people exactly how you want them to give and provide a short link to make it easy.
- HAVE FUN! Perfect isn’t required. Be yourself. Videos really do get easier the more you do them!
Once your video is done, it’s time to get it out onto social media!
Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are going to be the top social media platforms to post your video. Sending links to your email list, post them on your website or add them to your newsletter are also very effective. Additionally, if you have optimized your YouTube channel, you will get lots of viewers as a result of YouTube search engines.
Videos are an important and effective tool to share your message. Videos say what photos and text can’t. They have the power to transport your viewer to another place with you and see for themselves why your organization needs their help.
Get comfortable with seeing yourself on video, pay attention to what your viewers want to learn more about, and then deliver it to them so you can see the increase in support you’re looking for.