And the Oscar goes to . . . Take Two

Yesterday, we talked about how donors are like a Hollywood movie and act as a mirror for your non-profit organization (e.g. reflecting what you’re about, who supports you, what messages resonate and which ones don’t, etc). If didn’t get a chance to read that post, click here and check it out. Today, I want to extend this conversation and talk about the power of testimonials and using video to capture them.

If you watched the Academy Awards on Sunday, then you may have noticed the myriad of “testimonials” sprinkled through out the television production. There were short little snippets showing Brad Pitt or George Clooney or Angelina Jolie or Sandra Bullock, and they were talking about their love of making movies. While watching those testimonials, here were some of the things I noticed:

  • Their words seemed “powerful” and captured my attention. They caused me to reflect upon why I love movies.
  • There was a sense of honesty in their words. It felt like they were bearing their souls.
  • I felt a connection to that person. It was almost an intimate conversation you have with a friend or family member.

That was my experience . . . I’m not sure if you felt the same thing. Did you feel it or was I drinking too much wine?

This experience got me thinking . . . why can’t non-profit organizations do the same thing? Interview donors on video. Ask them to recount the first time they were asked to donate to your organization? Why did they do it? Why do they continue doing it? What about your mission inspires them?

Sure, I can hear many of you already mumbling about costs and time, but does this need to be something really expensive or time-consuming? I own a flip camera and tripod. Microsoft MovieMaker isn’t that hard to use. Hasn’t technology come far enough where almost anyone can produce something like this without it looking like a train wreck? I think so. Don’t believe me? Then go spend a little time on YouTube. Sure, some of it is crap, but some of it isn’t all that bad either.

As I contemplated all of these thoughts yesterday, the most amazing thing happened. It was almost like the blogosphere gods were listening to my thoughts because one of my favorite bloggers — Jeff Brooks at Future Fundraising Now — posted his blog titled “How to make nonprofit videos that people share” and it landed in my email inbox. WOW!

Jeff shares 10 tips on how non-profits can produce great videos. I urge you to read Jeff’s post, and then circle back here to DonorDreams blog and share your thoughts and experiences using the comment box below. Has your agency done a similar project? What were the results? Were the time and money obstacles too high to overcome? What are the obstacles keeping you from doing something like this? Please remember that we can all learn from each other.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, 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 February 29, 2012, in Fundraising, nonprofit, resource development, technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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