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Giving Tuesday is a perfect time to harness the power of video and capture the attention of new supporters for your cause. Fortunately, you don't have to invest a ton of money into a video production team or virtual events company to create engaging video content.
With the phone in your pocket and the right online tools, you can easily create compelling videos that inspire people to give to your campaign without breaking the bank. We’ll show you how.
6 steps for making the best Giving Tuesday videos
Just a little bit of planning will have you creating video content that moves your supporters to be extra generous this Giving Tuesday. Did you know more than half of people who watch a nonprofit video will go on to donate?
With numbers like that, you might feel like you've got to set the stage right now—lights, camera, action! But before you hit record, check out these tools and best practices for making and sharing quality videos for this global day of giving.
1. Choose the right type of video for your organization 🤔
Before you take out your ring light, determine which kind (or kinds) of video are best for your campaign this Giving Tuesday. Think about your audience and goals—what is the story you want to tell, and what action do you want viewers to make?
You may want to make a video that articulates the mission of your organization and shares stories of the impact you're making in your community. Will there be a call to action? A direct ask to donate to your campaign? Will you include several voices or testimonials, or just one?
You'll also want to figure out where you want your video(s) to live and how you envision sharing them: On your campaign page or website? In emails and text message blasts? Via social media? All of the above? Great!
🎥 Inspo from a real nonprofit: For Giving Tuesday 2021, the Prospector Theater had a goal to reach $7K in donations to celebrate their 7th anniversary. They put together two videos that celebrated their impact and reflected the voices of the people they serve, and they surpassed their goal by over $2K!
2. Don't let your budget hold you back 💸
You don't have to buy fancy equipment to make a video worth sharing. The coronavirus pandemic showed how effective and engaging first-person, unscripted, single-take videos can be for nonprofits. Videos that are easy to create and bring in more views? Yes, please!
Here are the tools you have right at your fingertips to make videos worth a million views:
- Camera 📸 This one's easy. For making online videos, the camera on most smartphones will often do just as well (and be much easier to use) as a fancy camera, so there's no need to buy or rent one.
- Editing software ✂️ Free online platforms like VideoAsk, Loom, and Canva and apps like InShot allow you to import your video clips and edit them online with user-friendly tools and graphics templates. Offline, Mac users can put the free iMovie software to use, and folks with Windows on their PC have OpenShot.
- Captions 💬 Adding subtitle captions is an online video best practice for accessibility and ease of watching for everyone in your audience. Video hosting sites like YouTube often provide automatic closed-captioning, or you can upload a file with your captions written out. Free or low-cost captioning sites like Zubtitle or Kapwing can make this process quick and easy, so don't skip it!
- Music 🎶 Add an emotional punch to your video by simpling adding music. There are several sites where you can find free or low-cost music to add to your videos without worrying about them getting taken down due to copyright infringement.
3. Feature your people 💁♀️
Whether it's staff, volunteers, partners, board members, or those impacted by your mission, you want to show the faces of your community in your Giving Tuesday videos.
The benefit of video content is that viewers can see the actual faces behind your cause from anywhere in the world and be inspired to get involved. Plus, including your community members in your videos will make them feel even more connected to your cause and encourage them to share them with their larger networks.
Remember to thank the people who invested time in contributing to your video. Send them an email, card, or even a small gift with remarks on how awesome they did and the impact they're making. Ask them before producing the video if they're comfortable with being tagged where you post the video and if they'll share it on their social media pages.
🎥 Inspo from a real nonprofit: The B'nai B'rith Camp put together videos featuring short testimonials from their staff and board for their 2020 Giving Tuesday campaign, which raised over $240K!
4. Write a script 📜
Set up the people featured in your video for success by giving them some direction—even if that person is just you! Write your video script beforehand to ensure you don't end up with awkward pauses or cut-off sentences. This will also ensure that you get impactful, well-articulated statements from your participants.
Here are some tips for making your script the best it can be:
- Keep it short and sweet ⏱️ Believe it or not, most people don't watch videos over 60 seconds. Keep your viewers' attention by keeping your video between 30-60 seconds. If you have more content than that to share, split your story into a few videos to break things up.
- Section it out 🗺️ Whether you're knocking it out in one take or editing together a few pieces, make sure you have a beginning, middle, and end. Determine which key points you want to make and when you want to make them.
- Allow space for ad-libbing 📣 Writing out a script offers the speaker support and ensures you articulate your message well. But some of the best content can come from giving your speaker the space to contribute anecdotes or feelings. In your script, include a section or sentence starter for speakers to share a brief story or a personal reflection of why they are joining your Giving Tuesday campaign.
- Share at least one stat 🤓 While people and their stories should be the central component of your Giving Tuesday video, back up your storytelling with some data or a piece of quantifiable information that viewers can walk away with about your impact or issue.
- Clearly state your call to action—and end on it 🚀 Every viewer should know exactly how they can support your cause when your Giving Tuesday video ends. Asking for a donation? Share the URL verbally and with text in your frame. And don't forget to have a clickable link to the donation page in your caption!
🎥 Inspo from a real nonprofit: Just Say Something featured a short video on their Giving Tuesday campaign page that showcased their mission and included footage of their programming—along with a direct call to action to donate from one of their business sponsors. They raised $10K, surpassing their $7.5K goal!
5. Get ready to record 🎬
Now it's time to film your Giving Tuesday video! Whether you'll be handling the recording yourself or asking others to submit a recording of themselves for you to edit, there are many things to keep in mind.
- Your talent ⭐ Encourage subjects to smile, look at the camera, speak slowly, and match their tone and facial expressions to the content they're verbalizing. If possible, have them keep their script at eye level so they don't have to look down. The more they can speak from memory, the better, so give folks time to practice!
- The picture 🖼️ Make sure your camera is steady on a tripod or set up on a level platform. Use an angle you feel confident with. There should be no distractions or bright lights in the background, but at the same time, try not to shoot with just a flat white wall behind you—some depth of field is your friend! And please, don't wear stripes or busy patterns. Solid colors look best on camera.
- Good lighting 💡 Rather than relying on light from a lamp or ceiling light, use a window for natural lighting. Stand with the window to the right or left of you, not behind you. And if it looks good on camera, you may even want to stand directly facing the window. If daylight isn't an option, a ring light can help. Use whatever you have available to light up your face as much as possible.
- Audio quality 🔊Your video subject should use the best microphone possible, even if it’s through a phone or webcam. The room or environment used for recording needs to be as quiet as possible, void of any distracting background noises.
If you're sharing out a script for others to use, add a few of these tips at the top about lighting, sound, speaking, and any other recommendations you have about creating quality content. You don't want to ask them to do it over again.
6. Promote your Giving Tuesday video 💥
Once you've edited your video, it's time to get it online for the world to see! Here at Givebutter, we’ve seen fundraising pages with personal videos typically raise 15% more than those that don't have videos. There are lots of ways to get your Giving Tuesday video into the spotlight, including:
- Upload to a video hosting site ▶️ Websites like YouTube and Vimeo allow you to upload your video for free and then embed it on your website.
- Add to your campaign 📺 Givebutter lets you add a cover photo or video on any fundraising page or event, so it’s the first thing supporters see when they land on your campaign. You can also add as many videos as you want to the story section of your campaign page (and so can any of your peer-to-peer fundraisers!)
- Send to supporters 💌 Include videos in your Giving Tuesday email blasts and even send them in text messages to supporters.
- Share on social media 📱 From your Givebutter campaign page, you can share your videos directly to social media. You can also post your videos natively to social media, but certain platforms have a time limit, so keep your videos shorter or share shorter clips one at a time.
And if you want to make your Giving Tuesday more interactive (and a bit longer), you could consider planning a livestream video event! We’ll dive into this next.
Host an epic Giving Tuesday livestream video in 6 steps
Kick your Giving Tuesday video strategy up a notch by going live! Now more than ever, people are tuning in to all kinds of events, performances, and workshops through live broadcasts worldwide. With Givebutter, you can host a livestream event right from the top of your campaign page and engage your supporters in real time—all for free.
Whether you're going entirely virtual or planning more of a hybrid event, check out these tips to make your Giving Tuesday livestream event a success:
1. Come up with a game plan 📝
When planning your live broadcast event, you need to take into account many of the same planning steps you would for an in-person event.
- Decide on your “why” 🤔 Why do you want to broadcast your Giving Tuesday campaign live? What message do you want to have your audience walk away with? How do you want them to feel? How will livestreaming help you reach your goals?
- Create a run-of-show 📜 Whether hopping on a quick, informal live broadcast to thank your supporters or running an hour-long virtual event, no one should go live without some guidance. Support your on-camera team with an outline that includes timing, directions, and talking points.
- Gather your livestream support team 💪 Aside from on-screen participants (who may be joining from their own homes), your livestream video will need at least one more person behind the scenes to ensure the livestream is functioning and do any switching from guest to guest. Whether they're with you on site or set up remotely, make sure a staff member or volunteer is assigned to interact with your supporters in your supporter feed and on social media in real time.
- Connect with community partners and sponsors 🤝 Get more eyes on your Giving Tuesday livestream and campaign by securing financial sponsorships and collaborating with third-party supporters. Recognize these partnerships with a shoutout, logo spotlight, or even featuring a representative of theirs in your livestream!
🎥 Inspo from a real nonprofit: Check out how The Darlington School raised more than $60K through their first-ever virtual Day of Giving with livestreaming on Givebutter.
2. Diversify your guest appearances 🗣️
Hold your audience's attention by having various speakers (or performers!) participate in your live broadcast. When outlining your list of participants, consider featuring at least one person from each of your key networks: staff, clients, volunteers, board of directors, leadership team, community partners, and any celebrity or influencer with whom you have a relationship.
Livestreaming is much less formal than pre-recorded videos, so don't be afraid to have fun!
🎥 Inspo from a real nonprofit: The Kirkland Performance Center held a Star Wars-themed virtual gala, "KPC Strikes Back," by livestreaming their event through YouTube on their Givebutter page. They included musical performances, comedy shows, and pre-recorded content throughout their live event, which raised over $150K for their theater.
3. Learn which platforms are worth learning how to use 🖥️
There are dozens of live event streaming platforms at this point. It's worth choosing one you and your team can learn and keep using over time for virtual or hybrid events. Popular streaming platforms include YouTube, Zoom, Vimeo, and Facebook Live, as well as Givebutter Expert Stage TEN.
Whichever platform you use, broadcast your livestream right to your fundraising event page, giving attendees one easy place to watch, engage, and donate! In addition to hosting your livestream on your campaign page, you can also broadcast live to your social media channels to reach even more people.
4. Look and sound your best 🤳
All the tips above for having good lighting and sound while creating video content stand true for virtual events as well. Picking a quiet place with few visual or auditory distractions in the background while livestreaming is crucial.
Livestreams can also take a lot of bandwidth to run efficiently, so without a strong Internet connection, your event might buffer, delay, or be choppy. Test out your Internet speed to make sure it's up to snuff.
You'll also want to hop on your broadcasting platform with your participating speakers the day before your livestream to ensure their camera and audio work correctly and everyone knows what they're doing. This is also a great time to run through the run-of-show with everyone involved so they know what to expect and can ask any questions they may have.
5. Engage your audience during and after your livestream 💛
In your broadcast, you're essentially creating a human connection through the screen. Implement fun interactive features to keep viewers' attention and make them feel like they're attending an event with you.
With Givebutter's supporter feed, you can ask your viewers to add messages, drawings, or GIFs to their contributions that will show up on the feed as donations come in. You can call out donors in real-time as the feed updates every second! Adding in a goal bar can boost excitement and provide more momentum for additional donations as you get closer to your goal or reach the end of your stream.
After your livestream wraps up, you can embed the recording of your event on your campaign page for later viewing, share updates like your final amount raised in your supporter feed, and email or text anyone who engaged with your event a great big thank-you.
6. Share a Giving Tuesday thank you video 🙏
No matter what kind of videos you create to tell your organization's story and solicit donations this Giving Tuesday, be sure to consider utilizing video to thank your supporters as well.
We have a lot to say about thanking your donors here at Givebutter, and perhaps the most critical parts are timing and personalization. With our native ThankView integration, you can send personalized thank-you videos at scale to all of your donors.
🎥 Inspo from a real nonprofit: For Giving Tuesday, the Monadnock Humane Society created short videos to thank their donors and share their donations' impact on the animals in their care.
Let Givebutter be your home for video and livestream this Giving Tuesday
Givebutter is on a mission to empower the changemaker in all of us, so Giving Tuesday is kind of a big deal around here. We're honored to provide your campaign with all the free video and livestreaming tools and resources you need to raise more, give better, and unleash generosity this Giving Tuesday.
Launch your Giving Tuesday livestream on Givebutter
Check out our complete Giving Tuesday resource hub for top tips for your email strategies, social media, donor retention, and more. Plus, verified nonprofits can submit their campaigns for a chance to receive a $5K donation from Givebutter!
We cannot wait to see how you rally support for your good cause on Giving Tuesday and beyond. Create your free account on Givebutter today to get started!
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