If a picture is worth a thousand words, then videos are priceless. Video imagery helps people relate with others and gets them emotionally invested in your cause. A compelling video thank you can help convince someone to donate and then compel them to donate more than they may otherwise. But the videos shouldn’t end with a donation.

By creating a compelling video thank you message for your supporters to view after they donate, they’ll feel how much you appreciate your donation, and they’ll get to feel the joy of giving when they see the impact their gift made. What are you waiting for? Go make a video!

WAIT! We should give you a couple of pointers first:

  1. Find your format — There’s a time and a place for more polished videos, as well as quick hand-held work. Figure out what will best capture the main theme of your fundraiser. If you’re running a marathon to raise money for your favorite charity, a friend’s hand-held flipcam video of you crossing the finish line and thanking your supporters might be exciting. If you did a fundraiser to save a saltwater marsh, you may want to get a tripod, compose scenic shots, and wait for good lighting to get beautiful shots of the landscape and its inhabitants.
  2. Script it and storyboard it out — This is the “measure twice and cut once” of video production. Don’t just shoot a bunch of stuff and then try to pick the best take or piece it together later — you’ll waste everyone’s time. Take a moment before you begin and give each shot a quick sketch on its own piece of paper and put the words you want to go with it along the bottom. Then, flip through it like a little picture book, see how long it takes to read aloud, and see if it makes sense. Oftentimes, you’ll discover you’ve left out a piece of information or that something doesn’t visually make sense. For example, while storyboarding our Mightycause Thank You Video for 2011, we realized we needed to show each speaker receiving a pen and heading off-camera to sign the card. It would have looked jumpy otherwise.
  3. Keep it short and sweet — Commercial breaks are only two or three minutes, and you know how long those feel. Say what you need to say, make people feel good and then let them get on with their day.
  4. Don’t say “Thank You” — Well, don’t only say thank you. People want to know what impact their gift had, so try your best to tell them, or even better, show them. If your fundraiser gives school supplies to kids in low income neighborhoods, show a class opening the box to their new computer. If you give out solar lamps in disaster areas, have local mothers explain how this will help keep her family safe. This is your opportunity to pull on some heartstrings and make your supporters feel the joy of giving, so go for it.

Post Your Video on Mightycause

Once your video is complete, add it to your Mightycause account and we’ll show your donors your video after they make a donation. If you have a fundraising page on Mightycause, sign in and navigate to your fundraiser, then select “Edit Page.” You’ll be able to include a link to a video thank you from YouTube or Vimeo under “Customizable Options.” If you’re a nonprofit administrator on Mightycause, you can include thank you videos for your main organization page and for any of your projects.

Camera Shy?

Are you a technophobe? Did you mock members of the AV club in High School? Good news! Those guys forgive you and went on to make zillions of dollars creating inexpensive and easy-to-use video editing software. If you’re reading this, you likely have easy access to either Microsoft Movie Maker or Apple iMovie, they’re great for simple videos. And if, after all of these dos and don’ts, you’re still intimidated by video, check out Animoto. This service allows you to turn your photos and little bits of existing video into a wide variety of polished-looking slideshows.

Favorite Video Thank You Messages

Check out some of our favorite video thank you messages on Mightycause. Be warned, you may want to donate to each and every one of these causes after watching these.

Accessible Space Inc. — Thank You

Animal Welfare League Alexandria — Thank You

Asha House — Thank You Video naming each campaign donor

Bedlam Theatre — Thank You for Youth Theater Program

BellSchool — Thank you from — Room 316 Room 203BC Sign Language

Catholic Relief Charities — You Helped Haiti

Little Lights Urban Ministries — General Video Give to the Max Day video

Points of Light — Simple Thank You to Mightycause staff

Rebuild Resources — General Video

Running Brooke — Thank You

Stand up 4 Kids LA — Tokens for Change

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee — Thank you

That’s it! Now go pretend you’re a famous Hollywood director and make some videos. They’re fun to do and your supporters will love them. Thanks for using Mightycause!

Now’s your chance to lift the world.

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