How To Create A Fund-A-Need Video That Works

Having a thoughtfully-produced Fund-A-Need video can be as important as having a motivating keynote speaker. It allows you to share the stories of people who aren’t able to attend your event. It allows you to spend time carefully crafting your message, and mitigates risk. When done well, video unites hearts, connects people to your mission, and inspires greater giving from everyone in attendance. We cannot stress this next point enough: if you are spending $20,000+ on your food, venue, catering, and alcohol, you can’t afford to NOT invest in a Fund-A-Need / Fund-The-Future video.

Fund-A-Need Video Utopia Experience

A good Fund-A-Need video will:

  • Tell an emotionally moving story
  • Help donors have a better understanding of where their money goes
  • Inspire your audience to greater giving
  • Create a sense of community among your attendees
Mission Videos vs Fund-A-Need Videos

Yes, there is a difference! Fund-A-Need videos should have specific calls to action that prompt an immediate response. These are the videos you want to show before your fundraising to help inspire giving hearts. 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.

Mission Video: These videos are all-encompassing and show your organization as a whole. They should be on the home page of your website and featured on your social media. They share your mission, vision, and purpose to give audiences an understanding of your organization.

Fund-A-Need: (can be used interchangeably with Fund-The-Future and a variety of other names) These videos highlight specific, immediate problems your organization is working to solve. They don’t have as long of a shelf-life,* but are critical components of effective fundraising campaigns.

*If you create a video to help raise money for something specific like new chairs in a classroom, you’ll probably only use that video until the need is met. Your video has limited utility. There’s nothing wrong with videos having a short lifespan (especially if they serve their purpose well), but it’s wise to think about how you might be able to get shots you can re-use later before filming.

1. Start With Why

As Simon Sinek puts it, “Your WHY is the purpose, desire, or belief that drives you.” Many people and companies can’t clearly articulate why they do what they do. Your why can’t be about running a profitable business—that’s the result. It’s all about your purpose; why does your company exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? And why should anyone care?

The “what” level of our brain. This is responsible for all our rational and analytical thought and language. This allows us to look through vast amounts of facts and figures, but it doesn’t drive behavior.

Limbic Brain:
This is roughly the “why” level. It’s responsible for feelings like trust and loyalty. This area of the brain is responsible for all human behavior and all our decision-making.

When you can properly articulate and connect people to your “why”—when you can get them genuinely invested in your mission—that’s how you create community. Here are some questions to think about:

  • Why do you exist?
  • What is your cause?
  • Why do you believe what you believe?
  • Why should someone support your organization?
2. Share The Stories Of Your Recipients

Make your video more compelling by sharing the stories of your recipients. Helping people understand the impact of your organization is a critical part of getting them invested in your mission. Work with a strong video team that understands the power of storyboarding and storytelling and you’ll be well on your way to harnessing the power of your recipient stories.

3. Get the Length of Your Fund-A-Need Right

A Fund-A-Need video should be no more than 5 minutes, and no less than 3. Less than 3 minutes would make it hard to answer any of the important questions, but more than 5 minutes and people may lose interest.

Our focus groups have reported feeling like they have a much better understanding of the organization when a Fund-A-Need video is shown at their event. Almost all participants have also asked for more videos to be integrated into the program in the future.

4. Quality Matters…

There are lots of great ways to use video without breaking the bank (more on that in a moment), but Fund-A-Need videos should have an emphasis on quality. Find a team that invests in the proper equipment (our team currently uses Sony A7S2’s and RED 8K Heliums). The higher the quality of your video, the more effective it’ll be, and the longer you’ll be able to use it. 

…Most Of The Time

While we always recommend professionally produced Fund-A-Need and Mission Videos, quality on social media doesn’t matter as much. Sometimes organic content shot on your iPhone can be just as moving, if not more! Get your content out there as often as you can. Your brand is only as strong as your impact and visibility. Share your story with the world as you change it, one heart at a time.

5. Hire Professional Fundraisers

It’s a weird point to include in an article about creating video, but the measure of a good Fund-A-Need video is determined by how much money it helps raise; if you invest money into professional video but don’t pair it with an effective auctioneer, you’re missing out on greater returns. Professional auctioneers with a BAS certification go to school and invest in continuing education to better understand how to make an ask. They may also bring supplemental live auction items (such as all-inclusive trips and other travel experiences) to assist in raising more money and ‘livening’ your live auction. With the help of professional fundraising auctioneers from organizations like A Higher Calling or Raising Paddles, your fundraising opportunities are greatly increased. There’s no guarantee, of course, but if you’ve never considered a certified benefit auctioneer it’s definitely worth looking into. You may be very glad you did.

Video = Marketing = Branding = Awareness

This video helped Lutheran High School raise $70,000.

When you’re ready to film professional videos, contact our team. We promise to help you move the needle.