Guest post: Using the latest video trends for charity impact and engagement » Charity Digital News

Guest post: Using the latest video trends for charity impact and engagement

Kris Rollo IoF headshotWe often hear how important it is for charities to demonstrate their impact, highlight why they exist, what they do and the change that they make.

When everything posted online is competing with everything already in existence, how do you make sure you focus on emotional triggers which prompt someone to donate, or even start fundraising for your cause? Kris Rollo, digital communications officer for Institute of Fundraising, explains.

One of the most digestible mediums right now is video. High speed 4G and always available WiFi mean those who watch video are increasingly doing so through mobile. At the recent IoF Tech group conference, John Carr, product manager at Facebook Europe, emphasised how everyone within the company thinks first and foremost about mobile, and that ‘discovery’ is how people find a brand on handheld devices.

Many organisations will steer clear of digital for fear of breaking the bank, but there are some media sharing apps and platforms which are free to use and could prove to be effective for your charity.

Snap for impact

One of the fastest growing apps right now is Snapchat where, according to CEO Evan Spiegel, 400 million photos are shared each day. So why not try using the app to get a preview of your latest campaign information to your audience, with actions on how they can get involved? An engaged supporter base will want to see exclusive, impactful communications, for instance short video messages from beneficiaries.

At a seminar recently, I learned how staff at one youth charity (including the CEO) had begun using Snapchat to provide updates to young people through photo and video ‘stories’ to keep them informed of what was going on and how they could get involved. If funding came from a grant, this could be vital when taking into account impact requirements.

The friends of your supporters are your friends too

The newly launched Facebook Live offers an interesting dynamic by opening doors to charities on new ways of engaging with supporters and their networks, and with 1.6 billion Facebook users globally, it could prove to be effective.

If you are running an event, you can set up a live stream and encourage volunteers and supporters to post their own content that promotes the live video. If you tell your supporters in advance, it gives them time to let their friends and family know. People are more likely to share if they are asked, and more likely to donate if they know the person featured in the content.

Facebook Live and Facebook 360 video, which allows viewers to watch and manipulate 360° video clips, may well become a space to engage with and place supporters at the heart of an organisation’s mission. Imagine a live broadcast showing how donations are providing vaccinations to save the lives of infant children, or a 360 video showing the impact of funds on a nature conservation project.

While the above may not be for everyone, if you do take up new media platforms, be sure to let others within your organisation know and get involved, not just the fundraising or communications team.

The Institute of Fundraising is communicating with our members through video to serve our purpose: creating the environment and the understanding for fundraisers to excel. We’re doing that by engaging with fundraisers through the filming and sharing of discussion, ongoing webinar series, and live-streaming of events.

As Teri Doubtfire, digital communications manager at Willow, and a speaker at this year’s IoF Fundraising Convention, says: “Don’t be afraid of ‘getting it wrong’. There is no right answer and the more you experiment, the more you’ll begin to learn what your online audience want to engage with.”

The Institute of Fundraising will be talking all things digital at IoF Fundraising Convention in July, so join them to share your digital inspirations with a great line-up of expert speakers in the specialised ‘digital fundraising track’.

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