12 Ways Fundraisers Can Use Personalized Video

12 ideas to help fundraisers stand out from the crowd

Brittany Nardi
August 13, 2021 · 3 min read
12 Ways Fundraisers Can Use Personalized Video

The #1 reason donors stop giving is because of poor communication.

We get it. Communicating effectively is hard. Luckily, video can help.

Video can humanize your organization, communicate donor impact, and create an emotional connection between your organization and your donors.

But it can be tricky trying to figure out exactly what kind of video works best for your specific cause and situation. That’s why we have curated this list of 12 ways fundraisers can use personalized video.

1.) Thank you videos 

A Penelope Burk study found that 93% of donors would definitely or probably give again to a charity that provided a prompt and personal thank you.

The data shows: you must prioritize the thank you process.

The following graph shows where personalized video stacks up with more traditional thank you options:

Thank You Options Grid

We are not here to tell you to stop writing cards and making calls. You absolutely should.

Handwritten cards are amazing but they are time-consuming. Phone calls are a fantastic but with the prevalence of spam calls our donors are simply ignoring too many of our calls nowadays.

Personalized video is a great addition to your thank you arsenal. The best part? Combine these options. If you can't get donors to answer your call, try sending a personalized video introducing yourself and mention you just called.

Professor Jen Shang, PhD profile pic

Donors pay the most attention to the thank-you communication."

Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy logo
Professor Jen Shang, PhD
Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy

We all stress over open rates and engagement, but the research shows donors pay the most attention to the thank-you communication.

Therefore, it's important to think of the thank you and as an opportunity, not a task. It’s an opportunity to form a new relationship with your donor. It’s an open door to learn more about their interests, passions, and why they give.

2.) Introductions

First dates can be awkward. They can be even more awkward if you don’t know who you are looking for. Sending a personalized video before a coffee or lunch date is a great way to make your donor comfortable and get them used to their face. No more, “I’m wearing a green shirt and sitting by the window” nonsense. 

A personal introduction makes a great first impression on donors and establishes a personal connection.

3.) Report on donor impact

One of the most effective ways to get your donors invested in projects, programs, or people you support is to show them directly what those efforts are achieving. Use video to bring your donors to the scene and connect them to those projects, programs, and people.

4.) Testimonials

Testimonials are one of the most effective ways to share impact. Ask clients or those you support to share how your organization has impacted their life. 

You can even share testimonials from your staff, volunteers, and other donors. A testimonial from someone with direct experience of being supported by a donor can be even more powerful than a conventional fundraising call to action.

Protip: Add a personalized video to the front of a client testimonial. See the Mercy Multiplied example below. 

5.) Event invitations and information

Send a video inviting them to an upcoming event. This helps create a personalized experience for your visitors. It can be especially useful for big events like nonprofit or corporate events where hosts need to accommodate a diverse range of people. Sending a personalized video allows your event organizers to create memorable experiences for donors, participants, and sponsors in ways that other traditional printing or broadcast methods can't match. 

Adding a personal touch to fundraising has never been more important. Whether you're planning a big party or simply hoping to boost awareness for an organization, it's important to make the entire experience memorable for those who support you. Video can add a whole new dimension to an event and can increase the emotion involved in giving back. In this video, be sure to share where the event will be taking place, the date and time of the event, and what people can expect while attending the event.

6.) Post-event thank you 

Be sure to thank everyone who attended the event. Like we mentioned in number 1, the thank you is the most important part! View the thank you as an opportunity to really personalize your message to that donor. Let them know how much you appreciate them and their selfless acts of kindness.

7.) Giving day

Use video to promote Giving day and raise awareness around the event. Send out reminders, updates, and information about the event itself.

During the event, create a tiered system where anyone who gives more than $x.xx amount will receive a personalized video, and anyone who gives less than the amount chosen will receive a generic thank you video.

After the event has concluded, be sure to share the results with your donors and show them the impact they made. Thank them for their generous donations and let them know this wouldn't be possible without them.

8.) Behind the scenes

When you're setting up for an event, it can help to video yourself preparing. Showing all the hard work behind the scenes can make donors feel like they're right there with you. If a donor can't attend in person, this can “bring them to the scene” virtually.

Imagine you are a donor at a museum and the museum is getting a new King Tut attraction. It would be amazing to receive a video of the new attraction being escorted in and set up. It's all about showing your donor you have listened to them and understand their passions.

9.) Major announcements

Use video to share organization milestones, introduce a new CEO/Executive Director, launch a new fundraising campaign, or communicate the release of your annual report. Sharing video announcements is an excellent way to engage your donors and bring the human touch you won't find in a normal email blast.

10.) Donor anniversaries & birthdays

If you're looking for ways to honor your donors, send a video instead of a letter on their donor anniversary and/or birthday. Video is more effective than ink on paper because it shows the results of their donations. 

We love this example from Highlands College.

11.) Staff turnover & transitions

Video is a great way to explain why someone is leaving AND introduce the donor to their new relationship manager. Having their current relationship manager introducing their new relationship manager gives your donor a sense of trust and loyalty that makes them feel secure and taken care of. This way there is no confusion when it comes time to make the transition.

12.) Donor survey

Sending out a video is an effective way to let your constituents know that you are sending them a survey form to fill out. Let them know that you value their opinion and want to ensure that they are getting the best experience working with you and the organization. When your donors hear it from you, instead of from a subject line on a mass email, it makes them want to participate. They will feel heard, valued, and like a part of the organization, which is how we want every donor to feel.

Are you looking to bring your fundraising to the next level?

If your answer is yes, we would love to chat with you! You can schedule a demo with us to learn more about the opportunities available for you and your fundraising team.

WRITTEN BY
Brittany Nardi
Marketing Coordinator @ Gratavid
Brittany serves as the Marketing Coordinator at Gratavid. She grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan surrounded by Mom & Pops, forests, and Lake Superior. Brittany happily joined the team this spring as a recent college graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Marketing. Previous to working for Gratavaid, she worked for other nonprofits and higher education offices.
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Ready to stand out with personalized video?

Check out our favorite Gratavid testimonials below, and visit Gratavid.com for examples and to learn more.

Eshon Allen

Gratavid truly helped us reimagine the connections we make between our school community and the donors who make it all possible.

UCLA
Eshon Allen
UCLA
Jenny Johnson

Gratavid has helped take our stewardship to a new level. I can not express enough how much I love this platform.

Ole Miss Foundation
Jenny Johnson
Ole Miss Foundation
Kerri Naber

Our donors are so thankful to receive Gratavids because it communicates that they are a big part of our mission. A personalized video makes them feel valued and seen.

Mercy Multiplied
Kerri Naber
Mercy Multiplied
Zack Huffman

Gratavid is a game changer. Since starting I’ve used it every day.

Teach For America
Zack Huffman
Teach For America
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