There’s a lot that goes into making effective marketing and fundraising videos. The temptation is to talk about your mission and services. Which is all fine and good, but what’s your point? What, specifically, are you trying to accomplish? And who, exactly, are you trying to reach? Be strategic about what you’re doing. Here are some basic guidelines for
creating videos that work.


Determine Your Focus

Start with your objective. When viewers get done watching your video, what do you want them to do? To think? To feel? The best chance for success is selecting ONE goal and focus on that.

Are you trying to recruit volunteers? Are you looking to inspire donations? Are you promoting an event? Don’t be content with just putting out a “who we are and what we do” video without thinking through the end goal. An educational video is fine…but if you’ve got someone’s attention, try and do something meaningful with it.

That brings us to our target audience. Who, exactly, are you trying to reach? If it’s volunteers or potential donors: what type of people are you looking for? Their demographics, their other interests, their familiarity with your organization/cause.

If you’re trying to reach those who may benefit from your services… Is it better to connect with them directly, or maybe through their friends and family?

Having a firm grip on your audience and objective is the foundation for all the other decisions you need to make.


Create of Your Content

Now that you know who you’re talking to and what you want them to do. You need to figure out what to say to them…and how to say it.

Be concise. You got just a few seconds to grab people’s attention. If it isn’t immediately engaging, they bounce. So don’t talk about every branch and every leaf, tell them about the tree and move on.

Open with a bang. If viewers only tune in for 10-seconds, make sure they understand the main takeaway of your message. Or make that opening so interesting, they absolutely can’t turn away. Or drop a cliffhanger that leaves them in suspense so they need to stick around for the resolution. Whatever the case, the first 10-15 seconds are the most important part of your video.

Make an emotional connection. Describing your services doesn’t resonate emotionally. Instead, talk about your WHY: Why you do what you do. Why you perform these services. Why your mission is what it is. These are emotional motivations we can identify with.

When talking about your impact, don’t get lost in statistics. It will be more compelling to tell one person’s story, then throwing out a whole bunch of numbers.

You can also, try getting testimonials from people whose lives have been changed by your organization.

Stick with home run balls only. As you’re coming up with the ideas for what content to include in your video, edit profusely! If it doesn’t knock your socks off pass. Stick with the most impactful content you have: go with the home run balls only. No singles. No doubles. No triples.

Anticipate delivery. As you’re planning, shooting and editing your video, be sure to consider the channels you’ll be showing the video on. The length and format of your videos should reflect the best practices of the channel. Do some research on your own – or watch my “???” video for more information.

Seal the deal. Whatever your objective is for the video, make is crystal clear at the end. Oftentimes we feel too humble to brag…get over it. If you’re the leading provider of services, or are saving lives, or are looking for donations: be specific about these things. So that when they’re done watching your video, they know exactly what it is you want them to know, think or do.


Get to it!

Whether you choose to shoot the video yourself or call in a professional to help: you set the tone. Determine your focus, grab their attention, make an emotional connection, then ask for what you want.

Filament Protip

All of our service area leaders have dozens of years of experience. These are protips they’ve picked up along the way that you can use right now to solve common issues.