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Cultivating donor relationships: 9 ways video can help

November 1, 2012

Fundraising is all about relationships. Whether it’s a $20 online donation or a $200 000 major gift, at one point your organization started a relationship with that person that motivated them to give to your cause.

But as in any relationship, if the only time you connect is to hit up that person for money, you’ll find the relationship will soon start to wither. Making the effort to have your donors feel part of your community and the amazing work you do will lead to them giving more and supporting/spreading the word about your cause.

Here are a few ways you can use video, along with your Facebook, Twitter and email newsletters, to keep building that connection with your supporters year round:

  1. Help them understand where their money goes: People want to feel secure knowing the money they are giving is being used wisely. Seeing the effects in a video is powerful.
  2. Help them see how they are investing in building a better world: Some people give because they feel they’re “investing” in a better community. You can show them their donation is an investment giving people the tools they need to educate, build, heal – so they can contribute to a better society.
  3. Help them feel emotionally connected: Studies show that most people build connections to identifiable people, not just a cause. You can help them ‘meet’ the people their donations are helping. Seeing how your non-profit changed someone’s life for the better reinforces the good that the donation brought.
  4. Introduce them to their fellow donors: Who else is a passionate believer in your cause? Is there a celebrity or a community leader who can explain why she or he supports what you do? Who are the long-standing supporters who can inspire others with their strong convinctions about your organization? Enthusiasm is contagious, and hearing from passionate supporters makes other people want to join in.
  5. Thank your donors: Video can be a creative way to thank your donors. It doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. By keeping your thank you short (under 2 minutes is best), sweet and to the point, you can explain what impact the gift made and give thanks directly to the donor.
  6. Ask people to upload their own photos or video: Find a theme that your donors can relate to, set a goal or a prize and let your users be part of the conversation. The user generated materials you receive can even later be edited together in a special video and be your voice back in the conversation.
  7. Recognize and thank volunteers: While most people don’t volunteer because they want recognition, knowing that their efforts are recognized and appreciated shows that you’re the kind of organization that understands the value of donations – whether that comes in the form of money or time. Video is a terrific way to let your volunteers – and the world – know you’re grateful for their important help.
  8. Grow your volunteer base: Many nonprofits depend on their volunteers to get the bulk of their work done. Asking for volunteers and showing how rewarding it is to be part of your team will help attract more people who want to help out.
  9. Convert your current donors and volunteers to advocates who spread your story: Make your videos short and interesting, and your donors and fans will want to share them. And you can be direct – by asking people to repost your video to their Facebook page or pass it on via Twitter. It’s another way to build relationships with your donors.

These are just nine simple ways for your non-profit to build a relationship through ongoing conversations with your supporters through video and its close cousin, social media. How can you get your supporters in on the discussion? Contact us to discuss innovative ways to use video for your organization.

This article was posted on November 1, 2012 at 11:26 in the Non-Profit category.

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