Video: not just for young people any more

publication date: Jan 30, 2013
author/source: Jenny Chavender

45 million online viewers can’t be wrong. That’s the monthly traffic views on YouTube, the online company that is leading the charge towards all things video. And contrary to popular belief, it’s not just young people that are watching YouTube; statistics confirm that video viewers are more or less evenly distributed across age demographics.

YouTube Users

%  of Total Users









 In addition, the same study shows that “YouTube’s users also skew wealthy, with nearly half (46%) of YouTube’s users having incomes of $75K [US] or more each year.”

 So, now that I have your attention, let’s talk about why video is an important tool for the development office of the future. Video is:

  • Personal – Video creates a one-on-one relationship between the donor viewing the video and what’s happening on the screen;
  • Short – Video catches your donor’s attention online without requiring them to “meet for coffee” or “attend an event” to learn more about your organization and the people behind it;
  • Easy – You can choose how professional you want to go with your video offerings, but at the most basic level, a video can be captured on your smartphone or digital camera.

 If you’re new to video, it’s a good idea to start small. Here are some great examples of how to incorporate video into your communication plans:

  • A message from your CEO to all individuals who have identified gifts for your organization in their wills;
  • A mission/vision video that captures the essence of your organization, showing your people in action, your mandate in progress, and your philosophy interwoven throughout;
  • “From the field” video updates that demonstrate how the generosity of donors is creating change in faraway places that donors can’t visit;
  • A  message from your campaign chair about the great strides that have been made in the campaign to date;
  • A completely personalized video for a special donor that speaks to them one-to-one (if a face-to-face update meeting is not possible, or they cannot attend an event);
  • A planned giving testimonial which outlines why the donor chose to give to your organization;
  • A thank-you video. What could be simpler than that?! 

Before you start recording, define who your audience is for the project and plan out your key messages. Just like any communications tool, it’s easy to get off-track, and too many ideas will make the editing process very time consuming.

If you’re doing it yourself there is a host of simple video editing software, many of which are already installed on your computer - Microsoft Movie Maker now ships with most PCs, and iMovie is available for Macs. If you’re working with a videographer be sure to clearly outline the purpose of the video and what you are trying to achieve so that you get the video that you want.

Your organization’s first dive into video is just around the corner. Start small, plan big and aim for huge impact. Everyone in your organization – both young and old - will thank you.

This article is taken from the January 2013 issue of Gift Planning in Canada. Instead of surfing websites, tweets and emails looking for the knowledge you need, why not have articles like this delivered straight to your inbox every month? Subscribe or download a sample copy.

Jenny Mitchell takes big, gnarly, complicated pieces of text and data and gracefully deposits them on the page with imagination, clarity and craft. Her company, Chavender Research Initiatives Inc., provides practical support for today’s not-for-profits. Based out of Ottawa, Jenny finds her niche as a fundraiser who writes. Contact her for more information.

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