People are drawn to good storytelling, and video tells stories (and holds people’s attention) more effectively than any other medium. Video allows you to tell your stories in a uniquely engaging way; you can include powerful imagery, compelling music, see and hear directly from whoever’s speaking, and unlock endless creative potential.
This article is for anyone who’s currently exploring the power of video. Whether you’re a nonprofit, NGO, or a for-profit business, you can benefit from effective video storytelling.
PRE-EVENT (VIDEOS TO SHARE BEFORE YOUR EVENT)
Promoting your event beforehand is critical to the success of your fundraising campaign. It’s easy to want to focus on day-of-event details, but don’t forget that pre-event marketing is equally important. You can’t meet your fundraising goals at the event if no one shows up. The three types of videos below will give prospective attendees an idea of what to expect at the event, when it’s happening, and—most importantly—why they might want to consider attending and supporting your organization. These videos help you create excitement for the work you’re doing.
- Save the Date:
A save the date video should leave the viewer wanting more. Ideally, you’ll want to send them 3 months before your event. These videos should be short and sweet, no longer than 1 minute. This is your opportunity to catch the attention of new supporters and make a memorable first impression. When creating this video you may not know all the details of the event, but you’ll only need to include the most helpful elements.
- Name of event
- Date and location
- Name of organization with logo
- Social Media Teasers:
Social channels allow you to organically get your audience excited about your upcoming gala, inform them of fundraising goals, and remind them of the event date with a fun digital countdown.
→ Create and start using your event hashtag to help people find your gala or event on socials.
→ Maintain brand consistency from beginning to end on promotional materials. Your logo, colors, font, messaging, and tone should be consistent to support strong brand identity so your organization is easily recognized.
- Invitation Videos:
Your invitation is another opportunity to make a strong first impression. It affects people’s level of excitement for your event; it’s time to stand out from the rest of the potential engagements vying for the same space on someone else’s calendar. How might you do that? Create a video invitation as a supplement to your traditional paper invite. Why? Because Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z and even Baby boomers live online. They live in the digital world. Creating a really thoughtful invitation helps you immediately get people’s attention. Video invitations are the most intriguing, emotional and energizing way to invite guests to your events. They’re also easy for prospective attendees to forward off and share with their friends, family and colleagues.
Your messaging should come from your organization’s recipients, helping connect people with your mission, from footage of volunteers, to showcasing the joy your organization brings to those in need, and the lives you’re enhancing through your service. The possibilities really are endless. Aim for this video to be no longer than 90 seconds.
Example video: Journey To Justice Invite Video
- Live Streaming Video
Streaming is a technology used to immediately and continuously deliver content to computers and mobile devices over the internet without the need to download.
Live Streaming your event allows your organization to reach beyond geographical barriers. The reality is that people aren’t tired of digital environments. They’re tired of boring digital environments. In order to have a digital audience, you need to build anticipation into your marketing strategy prior to event day. When participants join the stream, they can make comments, ask questions, and even donate all from their desktop or mobile device.
- Commercial / Mission Video
This video should be all about the why. It is an all-encompassing promotional video to spotlight your nonprofit as a whole. Successful mission videos should share your mission, vision, values, and purpose, to provide audiences with an understanding of what your organization does. It should live on the homepage of your website and be featured on your social media channels.
When creating an impactful story, always remember the 3 E’s: educational, emotional, entertaining. Record staff behind the scenes, volunteers, and the organization’s CEO. If you choose to include interviews, make sure you choose someone that comes across genuine and authentic on camera so that the audience will have a deeper connection. A great mission video should be professionally narrated, opposed to a talking head video.
Example video: Mission Video – Gene Slay’s Boys and Girls Club
- Fundraising Video
This is different from a Mission Video. Fund-A-Need videos should have specific calls to action that encourage and elicit an immediate response. These are the videos you want to show at your fundraising gala so people feel a deep sense of empathy. Your goal is to help donors visualize the impact of their donations (are you opening a second location, renovating your building, offering new programming, hiring new staff, etc.?). Your story should be the foundation of a compelling and powerful video. Our creative team will help you craft a memorable message that’ll meet (and hopefully surpass) your monetary goals. The length of this video should be no longer than 4-6 minutes so attendees don’t lose interest. A well produced fund a need video will tell an emotionally moving story, help donors have a better understanding of where their money goes, inspire the audience to give, cast vision, and create a sense of community, so your donors feel like they found their tribe. Ask your donors “what are your highest aspirations in life and how can we actualize those through our nonprofit?” Bring that information to us and we’ll help you craft a story to speak to their most meaningful goals in life as they relate to your organization.
Example video: Fund A Need Video 2022 – St. Charles County, BJC HealthCare
|Tip → Sponsorship Opportunities! Include your sponsors logos into your event video to increase visibility for the company|
- Spotlight Video(s)
These videos are excellent for the organizations that are challenged with attendees not really understanding your work; who you are, why you exist, what a donation provides for your recipients. This challenge poses an excellent opportunity for “Vignette Videos” which is an art museum-like exhibit experience where guests are taken on tours of program-specific designed “vignettes” at your venue. Your guests encounter a variety of statistics that highlight milestones, with photo-op stations to grab a selfie along the way. Each station explains a story about how the services you offer have positively impacted your cause. This scales awareness. This creates a connection. This unites hearts.
1. Case Study of the Vignette Experience
2. The Story of the Kilgores
3. Colton’s Story
- User-Generated Content
- Most user-generated content nowadays is published on social media channels like Facebook, TikTok, etc. Most people trust UGC more than content published by organizations because it’s social proof that validates the nonprofit from external sources
- Ask your supporters to upload videos of themselves…. Consider creating a social challenge as part of your marketing strategy. The secret is getting supporters excited to create their own content by letting them tell their stories in video format. Example: #IceBucketChallenge
- At your event you can share their photos, videos, and reviews on social wall displays throughout your venue
POST-EVENT (VIDEOS TO SHARE AFTER YOUR EVENT)
- Thank You Video
Fortune is in the follow up. Read that last line again. Within 72 hours, a gratitude message should be sent to all event attendees. We’re not talking a generic formulated letter with a rubber stamp from your Executive Director or CEO. We’re talking about a personalized video sent to each person who donated, and a follow up phone call asking why they decided to give, what they loved, and what they’d love to see moving forward.. If we did a good job as your event and video production company, your guests will have the post-event feels for days to come. It’s paramount to re-engage with supporters while they’re still connected to that emotion. A short thank you video will reinforce all the things they’re feeling. We encourage you to feature your recipients directly thanking donors, and the organization, for their efforts and overall contributions. If you use one of our partner platforms like Greater Giving, One Cause or QTEGO, you’ll have everyone’s cell phone number. Send this video out via text messages to your attendees using your giving platform.
Example video: Thank You Video: Mount Notre Dame
- Highlight Video
You’ll hear this type of video called many things from sizzle reel to event recap. These videos are typically 2 to 3 minutes long. Our videographers will capture B-roll to document the event experience such as opening introductions, speakers, awards, crowd emotion, paddle raises, etc. When those clips are matched with emotional music, you will have a powerful video to attract future attendees. By this point you’ve put a lot of hard work into planning the event, make sure you capture it to look back on! This type of content can be chopped up to use on your social handles all year long.
Example video: Down Syndrome Association Event Recap
- Testimonial Videos
There are many types of testimonials, but the one we’ve found works best for nonprofits are donor testimonials. These videos offer social proof that other very successful business leaders are supporting, and you should too. It also reinforces their why if they’re ever feeling disconnected or discouraged. All they have to do is press play and reconnect with the emotion of their WHY. Lastly, it makes your donors feel important…. “Wow, this organization cares enough about me to highlight my story.”
This quote testimonials, social testimonials, influencer testimonials, success stories, video interviews, long-form reviews, etc. These help with reputation and credibility. A great place to capture interview testimonials is at your event. This eliminates your team from having to coordinate another video shoot. If capturing video testimonials, be strategic about who you choose to interview…. A Volunteer, event attendee, donor, recipient, staff member…….
Example video: Testimonial Video – Donor Appreciation
Utopia Experience creates impactful videos for charities across the country, using emotional storytelling with clear call to actions that increase donor engagement.
Interested in video?
Contact us to see how we can help you with all of your video needs at your next event!