Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lights, Camera....ACTIVISM!

Video fundraising is the wave of the future. Adding videos that explain our cause, demonstrate your passion, illustrate a need, or simply make the “ask” can be a phenomenal way to connect with donors.  A video gives you the opportunity to speak directly to your potential supporters, puts a face (yours) to your initiative and expresses why the NAMIWalks fundraiser is important to you.

Hesistant? Let’s take a look at the prevelance of videos online. In July 2012, more than 85 percent of US internet users viewed online videos and most reported that they spent (on average) more than 14 hours doing so throughout the month. Cisco reports that more than 90 percent of the world’s data will be in video form within the next four years. We have to activate a video strategy now in conjunction with our tried and true fundraising methods just to keep up!
Before you create your video, take some time to create an outline of what you would like to say. It is not suggested that you read from a script. If you are known for your witty banter or great sense of humor, a funny or satirical video can be very effective for you. A compelling and inspirational video will work just as well. With cameras being built into smartphones and on laptops, it is very simple to take a few minutes to record a short message to add to your personal NAMIWalks fundraising page and your communications that ask people in your network to donate. The best place to start with your message is by explaining why you think visitors to your fundraising page should give. Remember, you don’t have to be Steven Spielberg or Martin Scorsese to get this done. Simply position yourself in front of the camera and speak from the heart; and do what you can to keep it to the point and between 1 and 3 minutes in length.

Check out this NAMIWalks fundraising “video ask” that was used to help this walker raise more than $1400 within a few days on the social networking site, Facebook.

Here are some quick and easy steps for you to do the same (courtesy of FirstGiving):
Experiment with your computer’s webcam
Most computers these days come with their own built-in webcams. This is a powerful tool that you may already have experience with. Shoot a quick video of yourself explaining the story behind your fundraising campaign. Why are you fundraising? How do you plan to do it? Adding an interesting, human story behind your efforts can create a strong personal connection with your network of supporters. The tools are there, why not use them?

Upload your video online
Once you are happy with your video message, it’s time to post it online. Use any of the video hosting sites (YouTube, Vimeo, Vume etc.) available to upload the video. Then you can upload your YouTube videos to your fundraising page. Either way, make sure your video message can be shared easily.

Speak from the heart
Webcam video is nothing too fancy. For your fundraising purposes, this may not be important. Ultimately this is just another digital tool to drive traffic to your online fundraising page. Make it personal and be sure to speak from the heart. Individuals are more likely to share something that is relatable than a generic, uninspired body of text.

Strategically share the video
There’s a smart way to share your video online. Share your video on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, in emails, and of course on your fundraising page!

Fundraisers with photos and videos are 41 percent more likely to reach their fundraising goals than pages without media.

Still need convincing? Check out this video from the Director of Marketing from the popular fundraising site, GiveForward, on two reasons why you should use video in your fundraising.

Once you've made your fundraising video, upload it to our NAMIWalks Facebook page so we can shine the light on your efforts to take the next steps toward fundraising success!


  1. Great ideas! I'm going to try making my own this week!

  2. Including examples along with the pointers is amazingly helpful. Creating a video has been intimidating and I feel much more comfortable about it now. Thanks!