Set These Goals for Your Nonprofit's Video
When you begin the process of creating videos for your nonprofit, it may be tempting to set the same goals you'd set for a traditional campaign, such as a fundraising letter sent through the mail: X new donors and $Y total donations. But creating videos and distributing them via the Internet represents a radically different way of raising money and growing your donor list, and so your goals can't be the same old goals. Instead, they should reflect the reality of how the Internet works, and how people interact with video.
By deciding to have an Internet presence - through your website, Facebook, YouTube, etc. - you are setting out to create and cultivate a community. This is how the Internet works - people will interact with you if they feel part of your community. They will ignore you if all you do is ask them for money. But - once people feel part of your community, and once they care about the work you're doing, then they'll give money when you ask.
Video is an important part of this community-building process because videos tell the stories of the good work you do in an emotionally powerful way. Your videos will cultivate the feelings that motivate people to give, IF your videos aren't perceived as constant appeals for money. An occasional appeal is fine, but using video primarily to ask for money means that your videos are commercials, and people really dislike constant commercials. What they do like are interesting, powerful stories of good work being done and the impact on real lives.
What goals should you set for your videos?
- Your first goal should be to build the relationships that will be the foundation for future giving. The people who watch your videos will be your future donors. Ask for their feedback. Ask them what they'd like to see. Create conversation about your videos. Work on the relationship.
- Convert your current donors to advocates who spread your story. Ask them to send your videos to friends and family members.
- Recognize and thank volunteers. Video is a terrific way to let your volunteers know you're grateful for the help they give you. While people don't volunteer because they want recognition, knowing that their efforts are recognized and appreciated makes them feel good, and shows that you're the kind of organization that understands the value of donations - of money AND time.
- Grow your volunteer base. Many nonprofits depend on their volunteers to get work done. Asking for volunteers and showing how rewarding it is to be your volunteer will help you attract more people who want to help out.
- Create more real-world engagement. Create a short video asking people to participate in your fun run or come to your annual dance. Use the video to show how much fun people had at the event last year.
You can set other goals as well - such as attracting a regional or national celebrity, learning how best to communicate with your community, creating more speaking engagements, generating more buzz, etc.
The common thread in all of these goals is using video for relationship creation and relationship nurturing. Because the people who have a relationship with you today - who feel emotionally connected to the good work you do AND who feel connected to your organization - are the people who will donate in the future.