How to Tackle Your Fundraiser Video Project
The lights go down and a hush falls over the sea of guests. This is a big evening. The next year of operations for your very important organization hinge on the next few minutes of emotion from the crowd. As the video starts to play on the screen up front, you're wondering how it will end. Will people pick up those paddles and raise them high in the air? The story playing out on that screen can make a significant difference.
If you're tasked with finding a team to create a video for your organization's annual fundraiser (the same tips work if your video is going online) OR if you're behind the camera making the video, we have some tips. There may not be any money exchanged at the end of the project, but there are still some guidelines to follow.
What's Your Point?
The story you create will be much stronger if you spend some time examining your end goal, especially if you bring in an outside production team. It may be to make people cry (and give money). It may be to make people feel great about your organization (and give money). It may be to make people understand the work you do (and give money). In the case of Wonderland, one of our recent projects, the goal was to show the progress of the amazing Wonderland Developmental Center grads. But since the program caters to kids from birth to three years, we were talking about grads who had no memory of the program that helped give them a great start. That meant we needed to showcase how far they'd come, but we needed to bring in mom or dad too.
Don't try to cram too much into one video. It's tempting, but one clear message resonates so much better than trying to get too many points across. Find the strongest message and and hone it to it's best potential. The 1st rule of marketing is to be authentic. The second rule of marketing is make sure you don't mix your messages. If you are authentic and you have a clear message, people will respond. So find your focus.
Put it on Paper
Along the way, doing projects for clients, we've learned a valuable lesson: Get it in writing. Even if the production crew is donating time and services, everyone benefits from a signed Statement of Work. This doesn't have to be a big-deal formal contract. But you need to clearly state the goals of the project, your expectations, timeline, and details like how any extra expenses will be handled and how many rounds of re-edits are included in the project. It's not only a good practice, but it will force you to sort out details you might have missed.
When you make these 3 things part of your process, you're on your way to creating a fundraiser video that delivers. Whether you wanted tears or laughs, you definitely want to reach your donors in a memorable way. We'll certainly remember Tyler, Colin and Nick. These former Wonderland kids left a big impression on us and the audience at their fundraiser in May.