So you know you need to increase your supporter base and want to make charity film, but how do you run a successful fundraising campaign using film? Where do you start and how do you make sure that it’s going to work? I am going to share with you my tried and tested methods for creating a successful campaign, guaranteed to attract new and more importantly, engaged, supporters.
ASK KEY SUPPORTERS WHY THEY SUPPORT YOUR CHARITY This is so simple and so effective! I heard the fantastic fundraiser known as the ‘Donor Whisperer’ talk about this at an FSI Conference and something clicked. Of course this makes sense. If you want to attract new supporters, ask your key current ones why your cause resonated with them. This is key to making a charity film with no experience.
BUILD YOUR CAMPAIGN AROUND THAT MESSAGE So let’s say that your supporter Helen said that she decided to support your Foodbank charity because “I can’t stand the thought of a mother not being able to feed her child.” Focus on that and build your message around it. You will never be able to effectively communicate everything your charity does in one video, so don’t. Focus on one aspect of what you do and once you have enthused that supporter, you can let them know about all of the other wonderful things that you do.
FIND A STORY People are moved by people. Whilst your statistics from the last 12 months might be inspiring, nothing is going to connect you more to your supporters than hearing a real story from someone whose life you have changed. Now you have your message, ask your team if they know any beneficiaries or volunteers who have a similar story and would be happy to talk about it. Of course you will need to be sensitive in making this ask but I have found that people are more than happy to help. So in our example, you would ask a mum who has had to use your Foodbank charity to tell her story, including what it felt like to not be able to feed her children. This sounds very clinical but the film will write itself once you have your storyteller whose message fits with your supporters motivation.
MARKET YOUR FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN TO THE RIGHT PEOPLE Once you have created your short charity video you need to decide where to market it. This is where your typical supporter that you spoke to earlier comes in. What social media channels do they use? What language would they use? Would they prefer direct asks or softer suggestions? Once you have these answers you can post your video in the right place, using the right language and making an ask that fit’s best with your supporter. Don’t forget to keep including your message. For example, if your supporter Helen uses Facebook, is middle-aged and is moved by emotive language, do that! Post your video on Facebook in the evening using messaging like “Susan had to use our Foodbank last year because she didn’t know how she would feed her children. Help us to make sure that children like Susan’s don’t have to go hungry, donate today.” It’s so simple but will have guaranteed results.
THANKS AND STEWARDSHIP Your video has been posted, you have had an influx of donations and offers of support – what next? Make the most of this oppportunity. Ensuring that you have systems in place to be able to deal with this increase is just as important as the actual video. Connect with your supporters, send a personalised email or even better a hand written card and make sure that you keep these supporters engaged. Because without them, you can’t continue your vital work.
I hope that these tips have given you a helpful insight into how to run a successful fundraising campaign using film. We would love to hear about your results. Good luck and keep up the great work! Emma@thesaltways.com