Top tips for video fundraising on a shoestring

These days, you don’t have to be a video expert with a big budget to make powerful charity videos that bring your cause to life – here’s how.

Raabia Fazil | 13th Sep 19
Image of a person filming on their mobile phone,

(Keep scrolling to check out our list of free video tools for charities.)

Video killed the radio star. For our sector, it has vitalised fundraising campaigns for all types of charities, so you should definitely add it to your content arsenal, whatever your organisation’s size! Even if you are already using videos for fundraising, did you know that:

  • 57% of online viewers donate after watching an amazing video.
  • Videos promoting crowdfunding pages raise 4 times as many donations.
  • YouTube has over a billion users and 45% of us watch over an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos every week.
  • Cisco’s Visual Networking Index predicts that video traffic will be 80% of all Internet traffic by 2019.
  • Over half of all videos are watched on a mobile device.

Given these brilliant facts and awesome stats, we can see why around 80% of charities say video is crucial to 
their work. A reported 83% of marketers would create more videos if they weren’t limited by time and resources, but it’s no longer the preserve of experts – as YouTube has shown, anyone can get stuck in, and most of us carry a decent quality video camera in our pockets.

 > See also: Why it’s time to rethink charity video campaigns

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth infinitely more. Use videos to passionately tell your story and thank donors by showing them the difference that your charity makes. If you are new to making videos you may find the following tips useful to help you get started.


Plan, plan, plan!

Try to focus on specifics such as your fundraising goals and how each video can hit them. What, or who, do you want to film? Are you talking about your charity overall or a particular campaign? Are you raising awareness or inspiring viewers to donate, act or something else entirely? Answering some of these questions can help distil your message.


Practice, practice, practice!

Try not to improvise. Your fundraising video is trying to reach viewers in a world full of charities making videos and rushed speech or chewing your lip whilst deciding what to say isn’t ideal. Try to think about what you would like to say, write a script or make note cards. Then practice takes, practice in front of a mirror or practice with your teammates before calling action!


Tell authentic stories

Using video storytelling can raise interest in your work and connect profoundly with donors by giving them fresh insights into your mission. You can locate the most powerful and moving stories, video them candidly and share them with donors everywhere.


Be bold, stand out

As handheld devices lower our attention spans and your timeline is full of fun, shiny videos, grab your viewers and get straight in to hold on to them, as boring intros can make us all scroll down to the next thing. Caption your videos to add impact and strengthen your message (and to make your videos accessible and inclusive)!

Here are some great examples to get you going – this blog post helpfully showcases different styles of videos, using lots of techniques to improve your videos and connect with more donors in a range of ways.

> See also: 5 UK charities making the most of digital communications in 2019


Get free video tools for charities

Now that you are ready to shoot, here’s some tech to help you further:

On a Mac, you can download iMovie for free and use it to polish your videos and upload them. Set aside an afternoon and you, or a teammate, can become an expert! Your charity can easily create, edit and post impressive fundraising videos using video footage and stills intensified with music, speech or both. You can also benefit from transitions and effects.

Through Charity Digital Exchange, you can access Adobe Premiere Rush through the Adobe All Apps plan at discounted rates (eligible charities pay a £4 admin fee to access 60% off the retail price for the first year). A brilliant tool to get smart, professional results, it contains lots of helpful features for charities, especially this one:

Premiere Rush connects all of your devices to the cloud, so your video is always the latest version allowing teammates working remotely to smoothly collaborate, edit and update without the hassle of downloading and then sending huge files of video data. With a mobile app available, you can tweak and perfect your work whilst waiting for the bus.

Stock video sites like Pixabay and more supply a rich collection of video clips to insert into your work. Their content is free and providing shots ideal to fill space as you may have similarly used images to boost your written content. You can use general, but valuable footage without stretching your resources to shoot clips yourself. Most styles are catered for, from cute animals playing to sunsets to anything that can enhance your fundraising video.

And lastly, check out some of the tips and advice from the pros at YouTube, through their free online video courses for video makers.

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