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

About DonorDreams

Erik got his start working in the non-profit field immediately upon graduation with his masters degree in 1994. His non-profit management and fundraising experience numbers nearly 20 years. His teachable point of view around resource development is influenced by the work of Penelope Burk and those professionals subscribing to a "donor centered" paradigm. Donors have dreams and it is our responsibility to be dream-makers because donors are not ATMs.

Posted on July 28, 2011, in resource development and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. OMG … I was watching television tonight and saw an ASPCA commercial. I cannot believe that I forgot to mention them as being very effective using video to fundraise. Check them out . . .

    Oh yeah … we shouldn’t forget about St. Judes either. WOW!

  1. Pingback: Hooking fish but not landing them « Donor Dreams Blog

  2. Pingback: Non-profits are using digital videos to say THANK YOU | Donor Dreams Blog

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