Non-profits are using digital videos to say THANK YOU

It is well documented that non-profit organizations need to 1) show gratitude, 2) prove that a contribution is being used in the manner it was intended, and 3) demonstrate impact in order retain a donor. This could be one reason why some non-profit organizations are starting to produce online videos to say THANK YOU to donors.
When you think about it, video is a great medium to “show” people all sorts of things including the three elements of stewardship that I just mentioned. Additionally, the low-cost (virtual no-cost) of digital videos makes this an irresistible activity for many non-profit organizations.
The following is a video from the Boys & Girls Club of Lorain County, and it was produced by the kids for Lebron James:
The next video is from the same organization, and the donors being thanked are a church congregation:
House of Praise
After a little clicking around online, fellow blogger and non-profit marketing guru– Kivi Leroux Miller — wrote a similar post almost a year ago titled “A Few Great Thank You Videos” with a number of fabulous links to videos.
If your organization is interested in trying its hand at directing a “thank you video,” you might want to check out the following resources:

Is your agency starting to use digital technology to steward donors? If so, what have you learned? What feedback, if any, have you received from donors? Please scroll down and use the comment box to share your thoughts and experiences.
Here’s to your health!
Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC!/eanderson847

Online videos offer endless opportunities to non-profits

Mission in Motion

By Rose Reinert
Guest blogger

rose1It was years into my role as Executive Director at a youth serving agency that it became crystal clear to me that helping people see could help them believe. Hands down, I encouraged board members to bring people in for tours, which often ended in an ask for an investment in our mission.

There is no argument that a story rich in description — sharing colors, smells, and sights — is gripping and engaging. There are countless opportunities for our beloved elevator speeches, and organization overviews, but there is no doubt, when you can provide someone the first hand look at the mission in motion, your sales pitch gets much easier.

This is the concept of Chapter 10 — “Got Video? (Video Sharing)” — in Lon Safko’s book, The Social Media Bible.

It is very easy nowadays to capture your “Mission in Motion” through various strategies. Consider utilizing some of these:

  • Client Testimonials
  • Board Member Orientation & Engagement
  • Donor Highlights
  • Organization Overview

It is sometimes difficult to get prospects for a tour or even to an event. So, why not utilize a short video via e-mail to share your mission and introduce them to your services? One of my favorite stories is a video that was made especially for a donor that highlighted a youth of the program thanking them for their investments.

How impactful!

Another great one was another youth agency that featured youth inviting guests to attend a benefit event through a short video invite.

Another great way to stand out to supporters!

Of course, the most simple online video is the simple case for support message like the one you see in the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) video about stopping the ivory trade and supporting their efforts to save the elephant population. Click here or on the video below to check-out this example.


In addition to reading Lon Safko’s book, here are a few additional links you might find helpful in developing your agency’s “picture” to share with prospects and donors:

So how can you capture your mission to share your story best? How have you used video to engage donors or volunteers?
rose draft sig

Places everyone! Online videos and fundraising

I am dedicating this week’s blog posts to exploring ePhilanthropy related topics. Since this field of resource development is still cutting edge (or should I say bleeding edge), I encourage everyone who is dabbling, experimenting and playing with tools in this field to please weigh-in using the comment section of this blog. Today, I turn my attention to online videos.

Some research indicates that people retain 5-percent of information communicated verbally compared to 20-percent when it is communicated both verbally and visually. I suspect this comes as no surprise to many of us. I know I’ve always told friends that I am more of a “visual person”. Moreover, this seems to be totally supported by the popularity of television and movie theater entertainment.

What was surprising to me was how biased and opposed I originally was when a colleague presented the idea of using an online video strategy to solicit donors for contributions. I was convinced that the only place online video should be in a comprehensive resource development plan is in prospect identification and possibly in cultivation and stewardship activities.

As with many of my hard held opinions on fundraising, they usually get challenged and I end up softening and reconsidering. In this case, I started changing my mind when a friend forwarded me this fundraising video for a foundation that fights bullying for LGBTQ youth. Check it out … click here.

OK … are there any dry eyes out there?

While I was moved, I still didn’t make a donation to that foundation because I wanted more information about programming and impact. However, I was persuaded to soften my position about the role online video might be able to play in the solicitation process.

Shortly after this experiece, my friends at Boys & Girl Clubs of Indianapolis partnered with Cantaloupe.TV and produced a series of online videos aimed at introduction, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship. Here is one of the videos they produced … click here. You can check out their other online videos, which are posted on their webpage.

Perhaps most persuasive for me was an amazing online training I found online titled “Lights, Camera, Action!” by Elliott Greenberger and Davin Hutchins of See 3 Communications. I found the training on Network for Good’s training website. Click here for the session description and access to additional audio and video links at the bottom of that screen.

So, I am still not totally convinced that online video is a super effective solicitation tool because I cannot find any good data that shows me how much money anyone has ever raised using this strategy. However, I can say that I am all ears and very open-minded to learning more.  Please use the comment box below to share your experiences. Results? Strategies that worked or didn’t? What you plan on doing differently in the future? If you have a good example of an online video used for solicitation, please paste the link into the comment section so we can all see it.

Here is to your health!

Erik Anderson
Owner, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC!/eanderson847