5 Powerful Fundraising Videos (and Two Bonus)

November 20, 2010

What makes you stand up and take notice- or sit down and listen for three minutes? Here are five powerful fundraising videos that are best practices models.

You may be asking how I can call these “fundraising videos” if not a single one asks for money? My answer is that each one is a powerful motivator that brings you to a new place in your thinking about the issue, the organization, and the mission after watching. Friend-raising comes first; fundraising follows.

Other than this introduction and the source information, this is a textless entry. I encourage you to share your own favorites in the comments section or by posting at The New Jew: Microblog on Facebook. I look forward to adding a best practice sections to both this site and the microblog shortly.

Note of Exclusion:  Unpacking the White Knapsack

I chose not to include videos which feature:

  • A white spokesperson for a cause in the developing world
  • Celebrities
  • Focus on poverty and not people

For me these three items detract from the issue at hand. The point isn’t to relate to a person you’re familiar with (pretty woman, middle class white man), but to go beyond and connect with the real people whom the issues affect. I’ve chosen here films that support sustainable community growth and empowerment- and lay the gauntlet forth in doing so. Many a strong contender was excluded for an overemphasis on a Western or white perspective.

* For more information read Peggy McIntosh’s “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” (PDF, 4 pages).


The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies present “The Shelter Effect” (3:57, 2,850 hits)

The Girl Effect presents “The Girl Effect” (2:23, 676,500 hits)

Companion video: “The Clock is Ticking” (3:05, 209,500 hits)

—   Click Through to See Most Best Practice Videos   —

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Getting the Message Across with YouTube: 7 Ways to Take Your Nonprofit to the Next Level

November 19, 2007


What is one thing your organization can do to improve its message? Get online with video blogs.YouTube is to television what Guttenberg was to the press.

Well, maybe it isn’t that extreme, but you get the analogy.

How This Post is Organized

In this entry, I present you with 6 strategies your organization can use to craft a superior video message. Each will be accompanied by a best practice example by video.

For further recommendations, go to my YouTube account and see what I am watching. I am carefully gathering a folder of best practice models in my playlist labeled The New Jew: Blogging Jewish Philanthropy.

Why Your Foundation Should Use Video

Video is an advanced, but important step for an organization. Videos are most often used by established foundations with set priorities and secure funding– but they don’t have to be.

If your organization prioritizes media relations and has a graphic designer or someone computer savvy on staff, a video is a great way to get your organization’s message to a wider and more diverse audience.

Six Things To Consider When Making a Video

Here are six high value components for a YouTube video:

  1. Target your audience
  2. Combine images, text, and voice to appeal to multiple intelligences
  3. Use visual analogies to better communicate your message
  4. Use humor– it’s universal
  5. Keep it short
  6. Brand up front and give instructions on how to get connected

Best Practice Examples

1. Target Your Audience

The number one key to success in communicating your message through video is to understand your target audience and speak directly to them. Keep in mind age, language, level of education, socioeconomics, and geography.

The best practice example for targeting your audience is a condom education video from India (with subtitles). Through dance, humor, and an array of mixed media techniques, the Nrityanjali Academy speaks to every audience about sexual health and education.

Their message is so universal that any person in the world could understand this message.

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