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How to use video to fundraise

It’s a great way to engage your audience

Videos are a great way to tell stories on social media, and the fact that they can be easily shared makes them a brilliant tool for fundraising. Here, we share some top tips on how to make and publish videos that will inspire and engage your existing supporters – and help you find new ones.

1. Tell your story

People want to know why you’re taking on your particular challenge, whether that’s shaving your head or running the Virgin Money London Marathon, and your video is your opportunity to tell them.

Describe your journey – how hard you’re training, your hopes and fears, the biggest challenges you face. And make sure you mention why you’re raising money for your chosen cause. If you’ve got a personal story to share, maybe someone important to you was affected by the charity and its work, this is the place to tell that story.

2. It doesn’t have to be perfect

You don’t have to make a slick and professional video or act like you’re a YouTube star. Social media audiences don’t expect polished videos. As long as you’re honest, authentic, passionate about your cause and true to yourself you will inspire people. A smartphone camera on selfie mode will comfortably do the job – so pick up your phone and start filming!

3. Ask family and friends to help

You don’t have to be tech-savvy to make a video on your smartphone. But if you’ve got friends or family members who are a dab hand at social media, why not enlist them to help you? Younger people tend to be comfortable around technology and regularly use social media to communicate, so they can help you film, edit and publish your video. Think of it as not just getting help from them but making them part of your fundraising journey.

4. Stick to Facebook

Facebook is the biggest social media channel so it’s where you’ll find your friends and family, the people most likely to donate money to your chosen charity. YouTube and Twitter also offer options for posting video, but Facebook is regarded as working best for video fundraising as videos posted on it are known to attract large audiences. It’s also easier to focus your social media efforts on just one platform.

5. Get it seen

Once you’ve recorded and posted your video you need to get it seen. Many of the people who see it on Facebook might already know about your fundraising plans, so think about how to get the video beyond that audience.

You could get in touch with your local newspaper or radio station. They may be interested in publishing an article or inviting you on-air if the story you tell in your video resonates with them. Think also about reaching out to your work colleagues who might not be connected with you on social media. Don’t forget the power of email – a short email with a link to the video will help get it seen – and your colleagues may be happy to support you. Make sure your Facebook post is set to ‘Public’, meaning anybody can view your video, not just your friends.

6. Ask for support

Don’t assume people will donate money after watching your video. They might need a bit of encouragement and you need to make sure you ask them directly to support you. You should also encourage viewers to comment on your video, so that even if they’re unable to donate money they can help motivate you and keep you going. The positive comments might even encourage you to make more videos!

7. Make another video afterwards

Your supporters are emotionally invested in your experience and will want to know how it went – any unexpected obstacles or difficulties and how you dealt with them, the end result (did you achieve what you set out to do? If you were taking part in a run, what was your finishing time?) plus, of course, the total amount you managed to raise for your charity.

It’s also an opportunity to tell your supporters about the difference their donation made to the causes you supported. Often, when charities send people ‘thank you’ notes by text or email after fundraising events, they feel inspired to give to charity again.

Have you gone the extra mile to inspire more people to donate? We’d love to hear your story and top fundraising tips on Facebook and Twitter.

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