The Campaign Video

A great tool for your fundraising toolbox

By Elaine Weber Nelson, Consultant

The key to good fundraising is engagement—taking the opportunity to find out what a prospect is interested in and building on that interest. All requests for funding require engagement, but none more so than a capital campaign. Capital campaigns are big deals: They can set the stage for the future of an organization. They are a public announcement that the organization is undertaking a major effort. They engage people on a different level than annual support. And the campaign video is a key “tool” in your toolbox. 

A video allows you to share stories from those who may be impacted by the effort, they allow you to show prospective donors photographs or drawings of what you hope to accomplish. They provide the emotional connection to the effort. Music, narrative, visuals – all these come together in a video and draw people into the project.

Consider your audience when creating a video: What do they need to hear? What are the key messages and who needs to deliver them? What will make people excited about the project? Can you include a testimonial from a client?  

Consider how you will use the video before you develop it. You may need more than one. Generally, videos are used on donor calls or at events. You can also add them to your website. (Uploaded to YouTube, they are easy to show on an iPad during a visit.) Video production costs vary widely. (We have recently worked with a great production company if you’re looking for a recommendation. We also have a writer who can help w/scripting!) Generally, you want to keep videos short– 2-3 minutes for donor calls, 5 minutes for an event. And, they don’t make the ask—that needs to be done in person, whether it’s a speaker at an event or one-on-one with a prospect—but they do tee up the ask, so make sure there is a call to action at the end. 

Consider the value a well-produced video can add to your next capital fundraising effort. It can be a powerful way of telling your story and creating a meaningful connection with potential donors.

Elaine Weber Nelson