Fundraising Video Has to Be Expensive, Right?

by | Nov 19, 2021 | Digital

Not many years ago the word “video” was almost universally understood to mean thousands of dollars in the advertising world. Many nonprofits stopped thinking about the benefits of video and saw the costs instead. But in recent times the value and crucial emotion-driving power of video have not changed, but the cost to obtain those benefits has dropped greatly.

Video had to be outlined, scripted, and planned. Locations needed to be scouted, equipment needed to be obtained, crews hired, production and postproduction team employed, etc. All of that still needs to happen, but it can be done often on a much smaller scale. And for far less cost. At least for certain types of video.

A highly produced video with many shots, cuts, scenes, and swift pace is still an important product that takes time and resources. But there are other types of video that can be used regularly for fundraising that have minimal cost.

Enter the candid solo shot.

The candid solo shot is just what it sounds like. You have one member of the organization briefly and candidly talking to the camera. Perhaps they are sharing exciting news, talking about a sad development, expressing a great opportunity, or just thanking donors. It may be scripted, partly scripted, or impromptu, but it is a short message that takes up just a couple minutes or less.

These kinds of videos can be game changers, especially if your ministry has not used much video before. A person on camera can do something that just the use of text, graphics, and b-roll cannot do. A face ads heart. Sincere words enable us to connect on a deeper level. The more sincere the video, the better, the less polished the video, the more authentic it may feel.

These 2-minute videos can be shot almost anywhere: a rocking chair, front porch, in front of a bookcase, a bay window, anywhere. They can be shot on almost any modern smartphone using a $20 tripod and a $60 microphone. Maybe the lighting is bad; error on the side of too much lighting. Maybe the color is bad; convert it to black and white. Maybe the head of the organization is not available, use a passionate volunteer.

The bottom line is that the candid solo shot breaks all the rules. It feels like a video someone shot on their phone and texted to a friend. You can probably produce it with a little better quality than that, but what you say and how sincerely you say it is what matters most.

This might not work well for a TV commercial, but you can pair these videos with email appeals, social media posts, website initiatives, etc. Anywhere you want to build more of a human connection.

Break the expensive video stereotype and engage more people today!

George Konetes
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