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Guest Post: Fundraising videos 101: Primer about effective videos, and ROI

Fundraising videos can be a powerful tool, when done right. Some advice…

When you have a problem with donor retention, you have an expensive problem. Most likely you can pinpoint the reason. It’s lackluster donor communications. Donors fail to make an emotional connection. They lose interest.

But through video, you can nurture donor relationships.

Every donor needs to connect

You devote staff time for one-to-one communications with major donors. That’s essential. But even small and mid-range donors need a personal connection. Video can be your workhorse for reaching these donors. It’s like having an extra staff person out there telling your story with passion … taking donors on a personal tour to see the work and the results.

What should a fundraising video be about?

It’s not about you. It’s about the donor. All your communication needs to be donor-centric. Your donors are heroes who make things happen. So the topic is not your organization so much as it’s about the donor’s essential role.

Beware the curse 

Your staff knows so much about your organization, and that’s a hurdle. The book “Made to Stick” calls this the curse of knowledge. What’s most interesting to your staff is rarely that interesting to your donors. Donors don’t really care about the details of your programs. They are interested in the big picture and the why. Why your nonprofit helps others (“to save lives,” “to end hunger,” “to give kids a brighter future”). Why should they support you? Why is your approach the best one? Work to inspire donors, not educate.

Ways to make your video effective

• Just because it’s video, doesn’t mean it will work. Content needs to be relevant and engaging.

• Look for ways to add powerful emotional triggers. Fear and hope. Anger and love. Deep emotions engage us, and influence every rational decision we make.

Be bold. Show passion for your mission. It can be tempting to avoid talking about difficulties. But it’s much more effective to be transparent. Show the obstacle, and the hero who struggles and wins. Donor communication fails when it’s milquetoast. Drama reels us in.

• If there is a secret to great fundraising videos, it is storytelling. Taking on the role of storyteller can sound intimidating, but it’s as simple as introducing a person, their dilemma and showing them overcome the problem. Consider those Ice Bucket Challenge videos: setup the challenge (our hero is about to be hit over the head by ice), the hero takes on the challenge (shows bravery as they are showered by ice), and overcomes the challenge (hero’s happy reaction in the end).

Stories are the only thing people remember for long. And the only thing that truly moves us.

How to get a great ROI

Maybe you produce only one fundraising video a year for your big annual event. But then what do you do with it? I find this mystifies many nonprofits. You can put that video to work year round. Here are some tips.

1. Do more than post to YouTube. Take the next step and use the code from YouTube to embed the video in your nonprofit’s homepage. Make sure you use video SEOtricks. Also work on a short catchy title, but make it more descriptive than cute so people can find the video through search.

2. Place the video on your homepage above the fold so it’s prominent. Make sure it plays on your homepage, and doesn’t send you off to another site for viewing. And remember: Adding video engages people so they stay longer on your website — and this raises your ranking in Google search, so you reach even more people.

3. Repurpose your fundraising video. Edit your big video down to a preview or teaser version for posting on YouTube with a link to your homepage to see more. Or cut your longer video into sections and post each section on YouTube, again with a link to your homepage to see more. Remember the goal is not just to be seen on YouTube, but to draw people to your website.

4. Add video to your email newsletters. The technology is not yet there for every email program to play video right from the inbox. You can use a thumbnail image that opens the landing page for your video. Also think of adding a snippet of just audio in the email. How great to click and hear a thank you from someone you helped.

5. Create a short version for social media. Post it on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram. Look up what length and type of video works best for each social media platform.

6. Make sure your fundraising videos have links for social media so donors can share them. One of the very best places for your video is on the social media feed of your donors because then it reaches their friends.

7. Does your main video end with a soft ask? You could edit versions with different calls to action at the end, and put them to different uses.

8. When you look at the cost of a fundraising video, add up everything you get in return. It’s more than donations at your gala. You will also show the video at other gatherings over the year. You’ll share it when visiting major donors and other influential people. Also count the increased number of web visitors and see how they stay longer on your site when they watch the video … because you’ve engaged them. Add in all the other people reached by the video through social media, as well as through your email newsletters and other email campaigns. There are so many ways you can put your video to work.

The bottom line

You also need to consider the high cost of losing donors. But you can do something about it. Video raises awareness, nurtures donor relations and inspires people to take action. Video needs to play a major role in your marketing. I don’t think it’s extreme to say that without video your outreach is limited.

Originally posted on www.maryjpeterson.com

 

Mary is a freelance video producer in Seattle. She creates videos for you that help your business or nonprofit grow. Visit her LinkedIn page, and see her videos on Vimeo. You can reach her at Mary@MaryJPeterson.com.

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#BetterCallPaul LIVE 7-17-17

 

 

Videos that Launched Last Week

#BetterCallPaul - July 2017 Special
Ingham County Health Department - healthy Ingham County 
Elder Law of Michigan, Inc. - Pensions Part 1
#TBT -REACH Studio Art Center - Garden Project 2016 
#JazzFriday - Marcus Elliott ‘The Hills of Pinar del Rio

►SUBSCRIBE Our YouTube Channel:
#BetterCallPaul  ꞁ  UnoDeuce Multimedia   ꞁ  RideHomeReviews

Guest Article: O REO! My REO! 

2nd Brain Collective Podcast with Amanda Washburn of Rough Draft Solutions

Other Channels:
RideHomeReviews

This week: War For the Planet of the Apes
Last week- Spider Man: Homecoming

Events coming up this week:

Thursday: The Drinking Lunch
Thursday MABA Golf Outing

In the news
1. Publisher’s gaming Facebook by Posting Pictures As Videos
2. Long Form Video Most Popular, regardless of screen size
3. GE Healthcare is Releasing a 30 minute Documentary on Instagram, a minute at a time

Question of the week:

Does Quality Matter?

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#BetterCallPaul - Meet Min Wang, Community Management Intern

Meet Min Wang, the newest addition to the UnoDeuce Family.
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► Subscribe to the #BetterCallPaul Channel Here:
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Paul has been a visual storyteller for as long as he can remember and decided to turn that into a career. He chose video as his medium and his award winning style has been seen nationally as well as praised locally. A self-proclaimed community proponent and pro-Michigan advocate, he owns and is creative video strategist for UnoDeuce Multimedia which is celebrating its 6th year in Lansing. Paul was just recently awarded the 2015 Entrepreneur Institute Micro-Entrepreneur of the Year.

Don't forget to
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Thank you for watching this video. I hope that you keep up with the weekly videos I post on the channel, and just so we couldn't keep this channel going without your support, so please comment, like and share.
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Also Subscribe to the main UnoDeuce YouTube Channel Here to see the client work we are putting out up to 3 times a week!

►SUBSCRIBE Our YouTube Channel:
#BetterCallPaul  ꞁ  UnoDeuce Multimedia   ꞁ  RideHomeReviews

Follow Me Online Here:

Website  ꞁ Facebook ꞁ  Twitter ꞁ  InstagramPeriscope

Please Subscribe to our Channel!

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2nd Brain Collective Podcast - Amanda Washburn of Rough Draft Solutions

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Amanda Washburn is the owner of Rough Draft Solutions (RDS). Her business helps companies find their voice and create a road map to generate more business and brand enthusiasm. Amanda and her team specialize in writing professional and engaging content for websites, blogs, newsletters, brochures, and more.

Amanda becomes the most animated when discussing the power of communication. As much as she relishes eloquent writing, she loves helping businesses make a difference in their customers’ lives even more. Her methods challenge the status quo and help business owners remember why they started their journey.

Experienced with start-up companies and technical industries, Amanda has an eye for consistency, creativity, and audience engagement. She is resourceful and knows how to make a powerful marketing impact, no matter the situation.

Amanda has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication, minored in Psychology and specialized in Business.

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Guest Post: O REO! My REO

In the early spring of 2013, as I worked my last 9 months of a three year project to walk every street in Lansing, I had no idea what my next step would be. I had thought maybe the city would hire me for my accumulated data collected while walking all 537 miles of the city. I thought maybe I could concentrate on my photography business, Ariniko Artistry. I had prayed many times for a studio to begin portrait work. In April of 2013 I booked my soon to be created City Saunter Exhibit at Art Alley in REO Town. I spent the rest of the spring and summer finishing the walking, creating prints and buying frames. My fundraising endeavors had helped make this dream a possibility. I was incredibly excited to have my art from this three year project framed and hanging in a real gallery. Then in September 2013 the gallery group that promised to hang my art moved out. I wasn’t given a warning, they actually never contacted me. I was told by a friend who was in the same building. After the shock, I went into action and per advice from many friends; I called and arranged to rent the same space that had once been Art Alley directly from the landlord.

I paid for 3 weeks and signed a lease with the management group. Running the exhibit there for 3 weeks was amazing. My husband and I packed up our computers from our home offices and drove to our new REO Town office on weekdays. I immediately felt at home in the space. I loved watching all the walkers go by my window on their way to local eateries or school. I loved the artistic sense in the area and the growing hunger to bring more to the location. While in my space I met the other renters who all had small businesses. I met Kathaleen Parker who owns Soulful Earth Herbals who had the other window space next to me.

I met Paul Starr who ran I’m a Beer Hound in one of the smaller offices. In the next office was Paul Schmidt, owner of UnoDeuce Multimedia, who I knew from Market Lansing events. Good Fruit Video owners, Justin Caine and Kraig Westfall rounded out the tenants on the lower level of 1133 & 1131 S. Washington Ave. All of these people became fast, close friends. We spoke about small business, REO Town, networking, art and family regularly. We encouraged each other and supported each other. We even worked for and with each other.

When my lease time came to an end I had a decision to make. I had floated the idea by the landlord of staying on full time to attempt to recreate what Art Alley had been doing. He wasexcited about that idea and asked me to consider it. Both of us were already fielding questions about folks desiring to use the space for events and dancing. He asked me to manage the space and I decided to do just that. I had really wanted a photography studio for myself and to share with photographers and this would be perfect for that. When events weren’t booked, photographers could come in hourly

to rent the space for their business. I created a new name, AA Creative Corridor (with the AA representing Art Alley as well as Ariniko Artistry and Creative Corridor was a synonym for Art Alley), a website, and a Facebook page and began marketing this space as a creative rental space in the heart of REO Town. For 3 years I booked, hosted, and cleaned up after countless birthday parties, holiday parties, anniversaries, weddings, business meetings, artistic exhibits, pop up markets, open houses, concerts, dancing and theatrical productions. I drove in from Haslett to let other photographers use the space, as well as comedian groups, yoga instructors, actors and musicians. I also was able to use the space as my studio for inside photography shoots.

had great pride and joy knowing REO Town was becoming a destination location for many of the events I was booking. I had folks coming in from all over Michigan and for some events all over the country. I had a virtual architecture college exhibit with me with students meeting for the first time from Texas, California, Canada and Michigan. Many who came to AA Creative Corridor had never been to Lansing before. I would ask those who rented from me what brought them to AA Creative Corridor and was told over and over that it was right in the middle between Detroit and Grand Rapids; the perfect midpoint for families spread out across Michigan.

For almost four years I booked events, scheduled photographers and hung art for exhibits.

I spent the majority of my weekends in REO Town either working my events or volunteering at a REO Town event like Art Attack or Thrift Store Gala. I was voted onto the REO Town Commercial Association board in April 2015. In 2016 I was voted in as Vice President of the board. I took my role on the board very seriously and attended all meetings, volunteering when I could and joining the Business Development and Promotional subcommittees. I met business owners in the business district. I attended grand openings of new businesses. I virtually supported as many businesses as I could. I honestly delighted in being part of this wonderful community.

The passion Local REO Town people have for what they do surpasses anything I’ve seen before. I watched a strong core group build this community up every day. They built stages, giant signs, and picnic tables.

I watched every commercial spot fill in with another energized small business. And if one left another would take its place quickly. I watched hand-crafted signage go into place door after door. I watched Vintage Café close down only to be replaced soon after by the incredibly successful Saddleback Barbecue.

I watched every commercial spot fill in with another energized small business. And if one left another would take its place quickly. I watched hand-crafted signage go into place door after door. I watched Vintage Café close down only to be replaced soon after by the incredibly successful Saddleback Barbecue.

I watched Riverview Church move in, repairing an incredible worn out building and parking lot to a level of sophistication and grace perfect for REO Town. I watched the graffiti wall change face more times than I could count, providing the perfect backdrop for a portrait photographer.

I participated in the Arts and Craft Beer Festival for 4 years as both a venue and an artist. I watched Art Attack get bigger and better every year. This year we’re shutting the street down for the biggest one yet.

I watched Dylan and Jeana-Dee buy, rebuild and open The Robin Theatre to great success. Together our two venues have participated in multiple pop-up markets drawing even larger crowds to the area.

I watched Michigan Creative and Blue Owl move in, changing the dynamic of our quaint street.

I watched board members create a business entity to buy even more buildings. Their latest will host a pottery business, a music venue and a distillery. Each week there’s a new activity. Each week there’s something exciting. Each week I fall more in love with this part of the city, which makes what I have to do very, very difficult.

I am not good with change. Once I get a situation, a relationship or a lifestyle in place I stay quite loyal to it. The idea of making any change is frightening to me. So I do the simple thing, and stay, despite the arrangement being detrimental to my emotional and physical health. It became apparent to me at the beginning of this year, soon after being diagnosed with a deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot in my right calf, that I had worn myself out. I had put off working on any AA Creative Corridor since mid December so I could enjoy the holidays and my birthday. Before I was able to get caught up I was admitted to the hospital. I was then placed on multiple blood thinning medications. For a week I was queasy from the medicine and the shock of going to the hospital and having quite a few aspects of my personal life affected. By the time I was able to concentrate on booking events I’d gotten quite a bit behind. I worked really hard to get caught back up but the drain of the health situation, getting a new puppy and watching my 4 year old grandson had really started to wear on me. I kept pushing forward, hoping I’d get my footing again. I was booking multiple events from Thursday through Sunday almost solid through July. Sometimes the schedule had me on my feet for over 16 hours a day. I had hoped to bring someone on to help with the schedule. Unfortunately that was put on hold when an increase in the budget made that more complicated. As the year continued my emotional state had also changed. I found I was upset when someone called. I was agitated with each drive through Frandor. I was annoyed by things that never seemed to bother me before. I was burned out; really, really burned out. So I prayed. Through prayer it became evident that it was time for me to let this dream go. As heartbreaking as that has been for me to accept, I know it’s the right decision. I’ve been fighting with this for 3 months and it wasn’t even up until yesterday that I fully decided. I have come up with variation after variation to make it work or make it not work. Over the weekend a friend simply stated that I should make a pros and cons list. I had been doing this list in my head but hadn’t taken the time to write it out. So I did. Sure enough, my reasons to leave out weighed my reasons to stay. I was really saddened of the thought that I may lose my REO Town Board position. I was also concerned about the financial situation as we will not only lose the venue income but also my photography will take a hit from no longer having a studio to shoot in.

I’m hoping something else comes along or that I can find places to shoot in. On the other hand I am excited that I’ll finally have time to work on my City Saunter book which has been on hold since I finished the project in 2013. I am also excited about concentrating more time on Ariniko Artistry, which took a back seat to the gallery. I can’t wait to be home to spend weekends with my twins and my husband as well.

I will always treasure the almost 4 years I spent in REO Town. I met some of the most amazing people there, including business owners, patrons, photographers, artists and residents. My twins spent almost half their life with me managing this space. What an incredible adventure this district gave me and my family. With that, at the end of July I will gracefully depart from the REO Town district as the manager of AA Creative Corridor. The 1133 S. Washington Ave. space will then be exclusively used by Salsa Capital (2nd and 4th Friday) and the Speakeasy Stomp blues/swing dancers (formally known as Sugar House Blues and Sugar House Swing) that host dancing every 1st & 3rd Friday and Saturdays of the month.

To all the people I met while being a part of REO Town I honestly, from the bottom of my heart, want to thank you. Thank you for letting me in. Thank you for supporting me. Thank you for including me. Thank you for befriending me. Thank you for all that you did to help me create this wonderful venue space. I will miss this space and all of you more than anyone could ever put into words. Oh, REO Town! My REO Town, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Sincerely,

Ariniko

Originally published at https://ariniko.wordpress.com

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