If integrated into your campaign properly, video can be an invaluable resource. It can add powerful visuals, a fresh perspective on storytelling, and a new platform for deepening donor engagement.
Year-end campaign videos, in particular, are a great way to exercise your creative muscles, test your limits, and get in the holiday spirit!
Here, we'll go over 5 ways your nonprofit can take your year-end campaign videos to the next level to raise more money, steward supporters, and spread some end-of-year cheer:
- Share why your cause is important.
- Recap this year’s accomplishments.
- Show off your nonprofit’s personality.
- Make the most of #GivingTuesday.
- Thank your supporters.
Of course, we'll also provide some amazing examples of nonprofits who used these strategies to create compelling campaign videos that added an extra element to their year-end appeals. You'll have plenty of inspiration to get you started!
The end of the year is upon us, so let's get right to it.
Year-End Campaign Video Tip #1: Tell the Story of Your Cause
As the year-end giving season approaches, nonprofit organizations around the world will be clamoring to make their mission stand out among all the other worthy causes.
Your donors are charitable people, so it makes sense that they'll be considering a number of philanthropies to donate their money, time, or attention to at the end of the year. To make your cause stick in their minds, you'll need to tell a story that nurtures a personal connection between your supporters and your organization.
Fortunately, a year-end video is a fantastic way to get your message out in a way that's compelling and deeply relatable. Just make sure that you:
- Use details to your advantage, such as a person's real name (or pseudonym, if appropriate), age, and location.
- Let your beneficiaries speak for themselves or have a member of your team narrate the story.
- Appeal to your viewers' emotions with powerful imagery.
For some inspiration, check out how the Robin Hood Foundation told the story of Kaneisha's family and how this nonprofit helped them after a natural disaster.
As you can see from this video, your nonprofit doesn't have to employ any special film-making tricks to create a powerful video; all you need are the true stories of how your organization is impacting the world!
Pro Tip for This Year-End Video Strategy: Use free or inexpensive editing software to add music to your video. Some simple background noise can play up the emotions you're getting across and elevate the professionalism of your campaign video.
Year-End Campaign Video Tip #2: Recap This Year's Accomplishments
If your nonprofit has had a banner year, now's your time to play the highlight reel! You can use your year-end campaign video to share your organization's most exciting achievements from the past 12 months.
The more pictures, stories, and videos you’ve been collecting throughout the year to document your work, the easier this type of video will be to create. This video will be especially powerful if you:
- Use statistics in an interesting way by pairing numbers with images of the community you support. (Hint: your CRM can help you pull the numbers on a variety of metrics!)
- Remind donors their support made your accomplishments possible and that you can't do any of it without them.
- Show collected footage of your fundraising events, volunteer service, and staff throughout the year.
Check out how MEND, a California-based nonprofit, combined facts with strong visual imagery to display their success in an end-of-year video.
Your nonprofit can take a similar approach, but don’t worry: if you don’t have enough visual resources available this year, make sure you get on the ball and start collecting for next year!
Pro Tip for This Year-End Video Strategy: You don't have to get your video camera out at every nonprofit function to capture enough material for your year-end video. A few powerful shots can be spliced together with other elements, such as text or photos, to create a cohesive video.
Year-End Campaign Video Tip #3: Show Off Your Nonprofit's Personality
Your nonprofit might be dealing with some heavy issues, but that doesn't mean your year-end appeal video has to make your supporters break out the tissue box.
If you're feeling festive this holiday season, try making a campaign video that's energetic and fun, just like your nonprofit staff! You can share behind-the-scenes clips of your staff hard at work, or just infuse a traditional end-of-year video with a lighthearted approach.
Of course, in order to make this style of video work, you'll need to put your nonprofit's unique spin on it and show the world who you are. A few ways you might do that include:
- Introducing your team in a personable way. Don't forget those key volunteers and board members!
- Choosing a relevant theme that reinforces your mission and stays in viewers' minds.
- Involving your supporters by letting them take part in the video. Have them submit ideas for the video content or encourage them to participate in other ways.
Because this type of video can take so many forms, let's look at two examples of nonprofits who've used videos in fun, engaging ways.
Friends of Trees put a spin on the traditional Giving Tuesday campaign by poking fun at this important nonprofit day. In less than a minute, they promoted their cause, showcased ways to give, and had a little fun at the same time!
You can also draw some inspiration from One Girl's "Do It In a Dress" campaign video, which took their team to the streets to spread the word about their cause.
These videos both go to show that you can spread awareness for important issues while keeping the smile on your face. And remember: the more creative your campaign video, the more likely your viewers are to share it with their friends!
Pro Tip for This Year-End Video Strategy: Keep sillier videos on the shorter side and use them as a way to get viewers interested in learning more about your nonprofit. Always include your nonprofit website URL at the end of the video, and link to your site whenever you share the video, too.
Year-End Campaign Video Tip #4: Make the Most of #GivingTuesday
There's no way your nonprofit hasn't heard of Giving Tuesday (often stylized as #GivingTuesday), an annual day devoted to charitable giving after the hubbub of Thanksgiving dies down.
If you're not already, you can leverage the popularity of Giving Tuesday by creating a video that connects your year-end fundraising campaign to this popular holiday!
Keep in mind that you'll need to make your video stand out from the crowd of other nonprofit campaign videos that tend to circulate around this time. To do that, we suggest:
- Incorporating strong branding so that viewers remember your organization's name in association with your mission.
- Including a clear call-to-action to inspire supporters not just to watch, but to donate, purchase merchandise, volunteer, or whatever else you'd like to encourage.
- Sharing your video across multiple channels including social media sites, an email blast, and of course, on your nonprofit website.
You can take almost any angle with your Giving Tuesday video, but no matter what you do, make sure to put your mission front and center so that all the new viewers you attract can quickly understand the purpose of your organization.
Take a look at how March of Dimes Canada engaged with both donors and non-donor supporters by issuing a creative Giving Tuesday challenge in their campaign video.
Not only did they present a clear call-to-action that was both interesting and relevant to their cause, but this nonprofit also did a great job of incorporating their brand by keeping their logo in the corner of the entire video.
Looking for more #GivingTuesday tips? Check out this article from @Pay!
Pro Tip for This Year-End Video Strategy: As the March of Dimes Canada example shows, you don't have to push viewers toward donations in order to produce a successful video. Because Giving Tuesday is inherently social, you should encourage your supporters to share your video or engage with your nonprofit online to raise awareness for your cause, too.
Year-End Campaign Video Tip #5: Thank Your Supporters
If you think your end-of-year campaign video is all about your nonprofit, think again.
Quite the contrary, your video should help you steward donors and nurture supporter relationships by showing constituents what you've accomplished (and can continue to accomplish) because of their help!
If you're not sure how to convey your appreciation, follow these best practices:
- Show donors and volunteers what their gifts have achieved by using images and videos of successful projects.
- Make it personal by having members of your team (particularly an executive director, founder, or board member) say thanks in their own words, directly to the viewer.
- Don't be afraid to celebrate with your supporters! You've achieved a lot together, so you can use your campaign video to wrap up a successful year made possible through their gifts.
If you're in need of inspiration for your thank-you video, we've got you covered! Just check out how John Hopkins University used humor and a simple message from their president to power their end-of-year video.
Or follow a more traditional, heartfelt approach like the Dalit Freedom Network did in this short and sweet video featuring shots of the communities they support.
Get as creative as you can, but keep in mind — your videos don't need to be flashy, just genuine!
Pro Tip for This Year-End Video Strategy: The more specific your thank-you video can be, the more powerful it will be! Let donors see themselves in your appreciation video by referencing different fundraising events, campaigns, or volunteer efforts.
Your year-end campaign video should be a chance to have some fun, express your gratitude, and pat your team (and your donors!) on the back for a job well done this year.
Now that you've got some inspiration for your own end-of-year video, it's time to get the camera rolling! And while you're prepping your year-end campaign, be sure to check out these additional resources too:
- 13 End-of-Year Appeal Strategies for Nonprofits. Check out Double the Donation's comprehensive list of best practices for planning — and executing! — your year-end appeal strategy.
- 10 Amazing Year-End Appeal Ideas. Fundly's put together 10 easy ways to inspire donations this holiday season. If a video isn't for you, try these appeal strategies instead!
- 11 Strategies for Stellar Donor Retention. Creating a can't-miss video is one way to keep donors engaged, but it's not the only way! Read up on our favorite strategies for retaining donors over time.