How to Create a Donor Thank You Video
Nonprofits, churches and other organizations work tirelessly to collect donations, but one of the most overlooked steps in the process is an appropriate donor thank you video. While sending out such a visual message might seem like nothing more than common courtesy, the truth is that it’s an integral aspect of donor retention.
Like most things in the world of giving, though, this process isn’t entirely straightforward. Crafting the perfect thank you video isn’t a one-size-fits-all practice. You need to know your donors, and you need to understand what’s important to them. Of course, the following donor thank you video tips will give you an early advantage as well.
Finding the Right Tools for Donor Thank You Videos
Before you Get started on your donor thank you video, it’s first important to gather the right tools. Some devoted givers may not care if they receive a video that resembles a home movie from the early ‘90s. In most cases, though, people want to know that resources are being used appropriately. Shoddy production value can make even the best planned video look horrible.
Fortunately, the majority of smartphones are now capable of recording high-quality videos. Since studies from the largest giving platforms consistently show that videos increase donations, this has opened a whole new world for charitable organizations. Many of these devices are even equipped with editing tools that can help you create a donor thank you a video that looks professional.
Consider the following resources as well:
- Blender (Linux, Mac, and Windows)
- iMovie (Mac)
- DaVinci Resolve (Linux, Mac, and Windows)
- Openshot (Linux, Mac, and Windows)
- InVideo (Mac and Windows)
- Avidemux (Linux, Mac, and Windows)
- VSDC Free Video Editor (Windows)
- Quik (Android and iOS)
- Lightworks (Linux, Mac, and Windows)
Each of these are free editing tools available either on your computer or mobile device. They can help churches and organizations – even those on shoestring budgets – create videos with high production value. Adding effects, combining footage, slicing segments and many other cinematic effects are right at your fingertips.
There’s an old adage that says, ‘anything worth doing is worth doing right.’ This couldn’t be anywhere more true than crafting a great donor thank you video. Most people walk around with tiny computers in their pockets 24 hours a day, so there’s no excuse to not take advantage of technology. This means you should check out the digital tools provided by DonorWerx as well.
Using the Tools Correctly
Once you have the appropriate tools for creating a great video, you need to know when it’s best to use them. Nothing should stop you from showing your gratitude whenever the urge strikes you, but there are very specific instances when these videos can pay dividends. Consider grabbing the camera and putting on your director hat in the following situations.
Initial Thank You
There are many different ways you can present a donor thank you video after any donation, but the most important factor is actually getting it done. This requires a little more work than some shows of gratitude – such as writing a church thank you letter – but it’s not rocket science. The same well-produced video can serve as a message for every donor.
Wrapping Up the Campaign
Never make the mistake of not thanking your donors once your campaign is wrapped up. They need to understand that their contribution had a real impact. Let them know the results of your fundraising effort along with what’s going to be done with the raised money. This will be one of the most gratifying donor thank you videos your folks will receive.
Completion of Project
There’s little that’s as rewarding as meeting fundraising goals, but completing a project due to this success is certainly on par. One of the biggest issues with donor retention is that givers don’t see what their donations accomplished. Videos can remedy this. You can also use the video for a bit of storytelling – which has repeatedly shown to increase donations – while showing supporters the good they’ve put into the world.
Personalized Donor Thank You Videos
If someone gives a substantial donation, it’s worth the effort to send them a personalized donor thank you video. It shows that you really appreciate their contribution. Additionally, creating personalized videos for certain special dates (e.g. anniversary of first gift, birthday, etc.) will keep your church or nonprofit on donors’ minds.
Between Thanksgiving and the winter cultural holidays, everyone is feeling particularly giving at the end of the year. This makes it the perfect time to create a video showcasing everything your organization has accomplished throughout the year. It’s smart to also include a message from the executive director, pastor or other high-ranking official.
The best part? This puts you on their mind at a time when giving often occurs without even requesting it. Of course, you should probably throw in an ‘ask’ just to be on the safe side. Even an unsolicited ‘ask’ of this kind can prove very profitable if you’re using DonorWerx tools to simplify the donation process.
Where to Use Donor Thank You Video Tools
Now that you have the best tools and know when to send out donor thank you videos, it’s also important to know where to use your newfound skills. Fortunately, this is one of the least difficult issues you’ll encounter. Your videos will go great when used on the following platforms:
The majority of donation confirmation pages aren’t that exciting. Unfortunately, this does very little to engage new donors. Spice things up a bit by embedding your initial thank you video on the page. It will show supporters that you appreciate their contribution, and this can turn a single donation into a recurring gift.
Whether it’s your initial confirmation email or the end-of-year status update, emails are another perfect spot to place donor thank you videos. Including a video in an email message increases click-through rates by up to 300 percent. This creates the perfect opportunity to get more eyes on new campaigns and content while thanking your supporters.
Thank you videos on social media are the perfect way to warm up previous donors and supporters for upcoming requests. These messages should be geared towards thanking followers for all kinds of support. This can be particularly effective near the end of the year when a big ‘ask’ is coming up fast.
Creating the Perfect Donor Thank You Video
You’ve now got the tools and plan for rolling out your perfect donor thank you video. Now it’s time to create it. Using a tripod or motion stabilizer are great ways to get started, but it really all comes down to the content. Make sure you keep the following tips in mind when crafting your message of gratitude.
Keep Donor Thank You Videos Short
When coming up with ideas for your donor thank you video – or when editing it later – try your best to keep it between 60 and 90 seconds long. Over half of online users will click off a video if it’s longer than 60 seconds, and while you might have better odds since you’re contacting devoted supporters, you don’t want to push your luck too much.
Use Team Members
The people who donate to your church or nonprofit share the same convictions as those who work or volunteer there. You can strengthen the spirit of community and connectedness by featuring team members in your video. Additionally, donors love catching behind-the-scenes glimpses of the causes they support.
Focus on the Giver
There are many digital giving myths out there, but one of the most prevalent is that storytelling in videos is all that matters. While it’s certainly a very important factor, you also want to make sure your donor thank you videos focus heavily on the giver. The message should convey what you accomplished, but it should also offer heavily acknowledgment that it was your supporters who made it possible.
Show Your Accomplishments
The only thing more rewarding than donating to a cause you care about is seeing exactly what came of your contribution. This shows backers that their actions had a real effect. Even if they couldn’t be in the metaphorical trenches themselves, they made it possible for others to get the job done.
Include Community Member Messages
Donor thank you videos that show a new community center, hundreds of titles from the book drive, or other inanimate successes can go a long way. If you’re able to include a community member who benefited from the campaign, though, the video will be much more powerful. It shows that our actions are having a real impact on the community.
Ask for More
Personalized videos strengthen donor relationships to the point where asking for more is acceptable. Of course, it would seem a bit tacky to ask for an additional donation in your initial donor thank you video. Fortunately, it’s not always about money. Just don’t leave dead ends in your messages.
Every video should end with an ‘ask’ that could include sharing the campaign with a donor’s social media followers or emailing five friends about it. Birds of a feather flock together, so if someone supports your cause, there’s a good chance a few of their friends are willing to as well.
Donor Thank You Videos Empower Your Campaign
A great donor thank you video will serve as much more than an expected pleasantry. These visual tokens of gratitude can engage givers, reach new backers, spread your organizational story and ensure that donors return to give again.
Technology has forever changed how churches and nonprofits seek resources, and this means donor thank you videos are now an essential part of the fundraising process. You’ll also need to modernize your platforms for collecting contributions, and DonorWerx can make this an easy process.