Creating videos that inspire action

Asking for support can be difficult, especially in the context of contemporary fundraising. Today, video dominates marketing channels, enabling us to engage in new and creative ways.

Our goal at DonorSee is to help you create video content that inspires action. We work to demystify donor engagement by equipping you with the tools and training you need to get the modern donor invested in your cause.

Below, we have included three evidence-based strategies that will help you delight supporters using video campaigns on DonorSee.

First impressions matter-set the stage

Attention is a limited resource in post-industrial economies. Did you know that, just last year, 56% of all videos published by content creators were less than two minutes long? Now that the average attention span has dropped from about 15 seconds to 8 seconds, effective communication is more important than ever.

This is exactly why DonorSee projects rarely exceed one minute. We coach our partners on best practices in digital storytelling and recognize that every decision you make is another opportunity to add value to the donor’s experience. While only five percent of people will stop watching a video after one minute, 60 percent will after two and this necessitates both creative and efficient story-telling.  

We recommend taking advantage of the Donorsee “THUMBNAIL” feature to select a compelling first frame for your project before you begin to crosspost on social media channels.

Make sure to clearly articulate your CTA in the first 20 seconds of the film and keep the audio crisp and clear. Try to film in an area with outdoor lighting- this can substantially improve video quality by making colours appear brighter and resolution sharper.

Just remember that stewardship is a multi-step process! Once a donor is interested, you can begin to cultivate and strengthen your relationship, but that first impression will determine if you are able to deepen your connection at all. Every video you share is another opportunity to delight a donor on our platform, so try to approach each project with the same care and attention.

Create emotive content- share your joy

While first impressions are important, you need to create high quality content that connects with your audience and moves them to act. Positive donor engagement might translate to sharing your DonorSee page, giving to your project or signing up for future updates. All of these responses are exciting, and will help you on your journey to steward long-term supporters to your cause.

What makes quality project content? Emotion!

As you film don’t be afraid to express yourself! Video empowers you to connect in a way that photos can’t, and you should use this to your advantage when sharing your stories. Marketing Land recently studied reactions to online content in order to determine what emotions helped videos go viral. Although joy was the most cited dominance emotion, surprise came in second, closely behind. Multiple studies demonstrate that feelings of joy, awe and surprise, result in highly engaging content that people can’t help but react to.

Our partner David does a great job at capturing genuine moments of joy through his ‘surprise’ gifts of gratitude series. His personality really ekes through in these projects, and his work has stirred the hearts of many new supporters. In sum, be personable, and let your passion speak for you. The adage ‘be yourself’ will carry you far when connecting with others, both in person and virtually!

Optimise your efforts: Share DonorSee videos on different platforms

Knowing where, how and when to share projects is a key component to success on DonorSee.

Modern marketing experts knows that different platforms reach different user bases and demographics. Think about where your followers are based, what time zone they are in, and how they generally engage with you. Many of our partners already have an active digital presence, and this almost always includes a facebook page that shares regular updates from the field with its followers. Your DonorSee projects provide you with a huge opportunity to engage your donors, based on facebook’s algorithm.

Did you know that the average engagement rate for facebook video is almost 50% higher than a regular post? Video posts are great ways to excite supporters, both new and old. That being said, don’t just post the link to your video page alone. Not all platforms are compatible with each other, and it’s important to understand how to share your projects, in a way that will optimise your reach.

Consider uploading your project directly to facebook and linking your donorsee project page instead. With a little more work, your video will look better and get up to 10x more organic shares. While you’re at it, make sure that you prompt supporters to follow your DonorSee profile, so that they can keep up to date on everything that you’re doing on the ground.

While the experience economy hasn’t made it easy to compete for donor attention, we believe that the key to success is and always will be, keeping people at the center of decision making. Traditional fundraising can be lonely, and enervating but it doesn’t have to be. We’re here to help you do more of what you’re passionate about!


Message us if you have any questions or suggestions about video engagement. We’d love to hear from you!

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