6 strategies on making a compelling donation video

Securing donations from organisation advocates or well wishers can get tricky to maintain for the long haul. Every now and then, you’re going to have to run a fundraising campaign or ask for donations for different causes. But before we get into it, pick some lessons from Charity Water on why video is important in story-telling. So, how do you consistently create compelling videos that inspire people into donating to your cause?   

1. Have a compelling cause

Often times, people will give you an ear when you have something to say. Do you have a good reason as to why you’re advocating for that cause that even when other people hear of it, they cannot argue against it? Your cause has to irresistibly evoke interest and attention for every single time you call for donations.
People give because they know you’re doing some good work on ground and that you create great impact in the communities or the lives of people you’re transforming. So, make it known to them with evidence of your mission in action in order for them to give.

2. Evoke emotions. 

Did you know that money is emotional? Think about it. All the decisions on how to use your money are based first on how you feel before the logic kicks in. I bet you’ve read many articles on this topic advising you to use an emotional story-telling angle and they’re right. It helps me see you as a fellow human being and understand your struggle.  At the same time, don’t guilt trip them. They know that world hunger, youth unemployment, poverty exist. They only lack reason to care and your role as an organisation is to invoke that reason. You can do so by sharing personal details, fears, and hopes of your beneficiaries that make it clear to viewers that the problem is impacting real people. 

3. Choose a Relatable Character

Your main character isn’t necessarily an individual but can be community members who act as the “face behind your organization.”  Your character has to be able to connect to your audience. It therefore goes without saying that you ought to understand your audience first taking into consideration their demographics (level of education, income, interests, character etc) For example, Save the Children uses kids as ambassadors in this video to solicit donations to their Child Refugee Crisis Appeal.
In this video of the US4Women campaign, they make a good choice of a relatable character to ask for donations to invest in sewing machines for the women in Katanga.

4. Sense of urgency

Any good copy should draw in people immediately and keep them hooked. Including a sense of urgency in your copy inspires action and this is usually embedded in the lead sentence.  Let’s take a scenario of a non-profit appealing to the public for donations to invest in vulnerable women’s small businesses. Which of these leads is more compelling?

A. It’s devastating when you have brilliant ideas but no one will invest in them. These women under our care are suffering the same.   


B. After so many years of harassment, these women escaped domestic violence, came to us to rebuild into business moguls but now, we see that they could fall back into old patterns if they don’t find investors sooner than later.  

Option B gives me a clear image of what’s happening and explains the immediate adverse effects that could happen should they not receive that help they seek.  

 5. Educate

You want to generate a video that’s both emotional but educational. The formula to rely on is the 5Ws + H. As you craft your copy, these are some of the questions to ask yourself and help your viewers answer them. For example, what in detail is the problem? Who is facing the problem? Why are they facing that problem? Where are they located? When did the issue arise? How can people help?Facts help you build trust and authority.  

Sometimes, it’s better if you let the community members tell their story. That way, your viewers match the face with the issue you’re addressing. When you present with human evidence, it’s more believable than words from a C.E.O or Founder alone ever could. See how this video of 92hands crossed all the Ts. under this point.  

6. Include a strong Call To Action (CTA)

Give your audience a clear directive with a call-to-action. Your Call to Actionwill depend on your organization’s goal, but should always be action-oriented. When you ask your audience to donate to your cause, be clear on how much and where they can send the money. Make your call to action strong by making your audience feel capable of making small changes but with huge impact for example, “$10 can feed a child for a month” , “$20 can help educate one more young person”
Points to note:

  1. Cross-check to ensure that your donor databases and the donation page work cohesively. If you don’t do this, you risk losing donor funds and probably never getting any in the future.  
  2. Always give Impact Reports to show your donors what their money was used for so that they have a reason to give another time.

 Try out these tips and let us know how they pan out! Have a great week ahead!

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