Using Videos to Tell Your Story
DonorPerfect Community Conference 2022
Using Videos to Tell Your Story TranscriptPrint Transcript
Darryl: Good day everyone, and welcome to Using Videos to Tell Your Story presented by Adam Wilbur and Julie Sullivan. Adam is a CFRE and over a decade experience in nonprofit fundraising. He has personally raised over 25 million for nonprofits over the course of his career as a Read More
Darryl: Good day everyone, and welcome to Using Videos to Tell Your Story presented by Adam Wilbur and Julie Sullivan. Adam is a CFRE and over a decade experience in nonprofit fundraising. He has personally raised over 25 million for nonprofits over the course of his career as a volunteer and professional fundraiser. He began his professional fundraising career in higher education, serving as the Director of Development for Yukon School of Business and Senior Director of Principal Gifts at the University of Hartford.
Since founding CauseVid in 2018, he and the team at CauseVid have assisted hundreds of non-profits with integrating video into their fundraising and stewardship efforts. Julie Sullivan is a digital engagement expert and manages the Customer Success Team at CauseVid. She joined in 2018 and works directly with our clients to ensure they have the tools and support needed to achieve their goals. With this, I am super excited to begin this discussion because I feel that there is probably no better tool to communicate storytelling than video at this point. Just a reminder for all those that are joining the session, please be sure to add your questions to the Q&A tab so that we can see them and answer them at the end of the presentation.
We will try and type through a few of them. The questions asked in the general chat may not get asked, just because we may lose them in the scroll of the screen with all the activity. With that, I would like to turn this over to Adam and Julie and they will have some special guests to introduce as well.
Adam Wilbur: Great. Thanks so much, Darryl. Thank you everyone for joining us here today. I’m Adam and we’re going to be talking here about some of the how and the why to incorporate video into your fundraising as well as talking through a couple of the ways that DP Video, which is the version of CauseVid embedded within DonorPerfect makes it really easy for you to do that and to get others within your organization involved in using video as a stewardship tool.
At CauseVid, our focus is on helping nonprofits tell better stories so that they can retain more donors in doing that with video. Our goal is to help you capture, create and share authentic, memorable, and personalized videos that will get and keep the attention of your donors. What we’re going to talk about today first off is who will, after talking a little bit of why video, who should you have tell these stories, how can you capture the videos, and to whom should you prioritize sending videos?
We’ll go and jump right into it. First talking a little bit about why video. Why video? Well, because people crave meaningful and authentic connection. Oftentimes, the automatic thank you receipt that might get sent to somebody after they make a donation or even the receipt that might get mailed doesn’t create that authentic connection with the organization, with the cause and with the work you’re doing.
Video is a really great way for you to be able to do that and to tell donors about the impact that their gifts have had. Really important to realize that it doesn’t take a perfectly produced, polished video with all kinds of bells and whistles to get that message across. It can be as simple as recording a video into the camera on your phone or into a webcam. You’re going to see a number of examples in our presentation here of how clients of ours did just that.
I don’t think we have any examples we’re going to show that are more produced than simply looking into the camera and talking to the person on the other side. Let’s share and talk about how we can help put a human face on your communication to make it more effective using video. The other thing to point out from a quantifiable standpoint is that we know that video leads to more opens, more clicks, and more memories.
We see that including a video in an email can increase the click-through rate by 200% to 300%. Obviously, you want the person receiving your communication, whether that’s a written or a video communication to remember what you said because that’s going to make it more likely that they’ll give the next time you ask. The average person retains 95% of what they watch in the video compared to just 10% of texts they might read.
That’s something to keep in mind as you decide within your own organization how, and when you might add video into your processes to thank donors in other ways. We want to talk a lot today about who will tell your story, and we’re going to highlight four different types of people within your organization or connected to your organization that you can collect these stories from to be able to tell these stories.
The first one we’ll talk through is staff members, whether that’s an executive director, a development director, or a program manager whoever it might be that has a story to tell, or is in a good position to thank a donor for the support they’ve given. We’ll also talk about using the platform and using video to get board members involved.
We know it’s a constant challenge sometimes to get board members involved in fundraising activity and in one of the ways that you can do it and it feels very nonthreatening to board members is to thank donors and to thank them with a video, but also the donors themselves, and we’ll show some examples of how we’ve gotten or clients of ours have gotten their own donors to tell their story to help inspire others to give.
Then depending on the organization, the ability to bring in the beneficiaries of the work you do. We see that a lot in the educational space with scholarship recipients and we’ll show an example similar to that today as well. I want to start here by bringing on our friend from the Timothy Initiative and Julie I’ll ask you to make that introduction of him.
Julie Sullivan: Hi everyone. We are having Gary Schneider, the regional Director West of the Timothy Initiative join us and talk a little bit about how he uses video. He has previously served as a pastor in Chicago and a church planter in Madagascar and has worked in the development field as well. Gary, I will turn it over to you. Thank you.
Gary Schneider: Well, thank you, Julie. It has really been a privilege to be a part of the CauseVid and DonorPerfect outreach here for about the last three years I think we’ve been using CauseVid and I find it particularly helpful in two particular areas. The first one would be for thank you responses. In the past, I would scratch out a handwritten thank you note, but my penmanship is pretty bad so I don’t know how many of those are actually even read, but when I came across CauseVid I found that this was such a more efficient, effective way to truly express appreciation and build a relationship with a partner at the same time. I have gotten so many positive responses from the videos that I’ve sent.
I generally will attach a little testimonial video from our website along with my unpolished raw [laughs] video that I make, and that has given a really, really good response. I think I would say I probably send 10 or 15 a week and I usually get one or two emails back saying, “Wow, thank you, I’ve never gotten a thank-you note like that from an organization that I supported before.” The second way that I like to use it is is just to touch base occasionally. Randomly, I try to connect with all of my donors on a regular basis so whether I’m scheduling an appointment for the next visit or just saying, “Hey, I was thinking about your day. I saw something in the newspaper that made me think of you and I wanted to send you this little video to let you know I was thinking about you, praying for you today, something like that.” Just an occasional touch point would be the other really great use that I have found for the video.
Adam: Gary, I wanted to take a minute and thank you for that introduction there. I’m going to take a minute and play one of the videos that you sent. I think in this example you are doing what you just described which is touching base with someone that you are heading into the area for. Let me give this a play.
Gary: Hey, Jeff. Gary Schneider here with TTI. Hey, I’m going to be in Phoenix next week, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I would love to stop by campus and meet up with you. Maybe we could grab coffee or lunch or something together. Would you get back to me? Yes, I do have a phone number for you, but it seems like emailing has been more efficient to communicate. Could you get back to me as soon as possible? My schedule is filled up, but I’d love to share a few things, highlights and updates, and opportunities for the future between campus and TTI. Give me a call and we’ll put something down for next week hopefully.
Adam: Gary, anything to add to tell us a little bit about that particular attempt to get a visit and how you’ve seen that work for you when reaching out to people?
Gary: It’s always humbling when you see yourself on video too. I had the Christmas in June shirt on that day, I guess.
Adam: My hairline goes back every time I watch one on myself and I go back a couple of years and I’m like, “Where did all that hair go?” [laughs]
Gary: It’s funny watching that because I am actually in Phoenix right now in a hotel room and had lunch yesterday with Jeff who I had addressed in the video and it was really good. It was a very efficient way to connect with him. You have to find out how partners like to be communicated with. Some are text people, some are email, some are phone, he’s definitely an email person. The video works great. It was perfect timing that you picked that one because here I am right here in Phoenix one day after the visit. I think we’re well on our way towards the first gift from that church.
Adam: Excellent. You mentioned earlier you probably do. I think you said 10 to 15 of these videos a week. how long does that take you to do as you sit there and decide who you’re going to send them to, how much of your time does that take when you do it?
Gary: I would say probably 20 to 25 minutes. The longest taking thing is uploading the second video, depending on how fast the internet speed is where I’m at. You can reel these off in a minute or less and like I said before, I find they’re a really nice uptick to the typical either handwritten or email because very few people I find are sending these kinds of videos. I hope it stays that way. Maybe you guys don’t hope that, but it’s novel. It’s refreshing. I have had nothing but positive reviews from recipients of the emails because of how new and refreshing it is.
Adam: It’s interesting. You say that I know that it’s a concept that’s existed in some of the for-profit space for a while. I know that one of the first use cases that we know historically was Realtors using it to reach out to people about homes they might want to buy and then mortgage brokers used it. We’ve really attempted to bring this concept of humanizing that digital communication with personalized videos here into the nonprofit space. In your example of some great ones of how you’ve been able to do that. Julie, can you speak for a minute? I know you shared these data points with me earlier around what they’ve seen overall in terms of their activity and open rates.
Julie: Yes, so I took a quick look at all the personalized videos that you and your team have sent there at the Timothy Initiative. Over the course of time that you’ve been sending these you’ve sent over 700 videos and there’s a 69% open rate there. which is huge and we really see that personalized video kind of far and away supersedes your open rates with a plain text email. It’s also nice to see the impact of those videos as well. You can send a handwritten note, but you don’t always– Did they open it? What was their reaction when they read it? When you can look at your opens and views you can really measure the impact of spending the time to record those videos.
Adam: Gary, I think I heard you mention too getting those replies back from donors. Is that something you see pretty commonly?
Gary: Yes, I would say I get maybe one a week. If I send 10 to 15, I probably get one back and it’s always really encouraging when I get some feedback A because I know they opened it and B because they expressed how much they appreciated the fresh approach to keeping in touch.
Adam: Excellent. Thanks so much for joining us and sharing those thoughts. Welcome and would love to have you stay on as we go through some other examples. Thanks for sharing your own experience with GB video.
Gary: Absolutely. My pleasure.
Adam: Thank you.
Julie: Thank you, Gary.
Gary: Hey Jeff.
Adam: Now, Julie, I don’t know if Dirk has joined us at this point.
Julie: I saw his mute come off, but.
Adam: Dirk, are you here with us. Julie, why don’t you start by introducing a little bit about what they’ve done and we’ll show this video and see if he’s here as we come through it.
Julie: Yes, absolutely. Dirk is the Vice President of the Eastern European Mission and they work very closely with Eastern Europe and is a faith-based organization. Previously Dirk has a background in higher development within higher education as well as business development. What EEM has done here is they have done a great job of sending one video out to a group of people. What they’re doing is raising awareness for the ability to raise money for humanitarian aid to Ukraine. They sent this video out to just over 2000 of their donors and Dirk talks a little bit about what they can do to support refugees from Ukraine as well as children from Ukraine.
Adam: Yes. Let’s give this a little watch and you can see what we see here.
Dirk: Hi, first, let me thank you for all of the emails, text messages, and phone calls letting us know you are praying for all of the people in Ukraine. Many are asking us how they can help with the vast array of needs these Ukrainian refugee families have and whether we, EEM are accepting funds for Ukrainian aid, the answer is yes, this Russian invasion has sparked a need for humanitarian aid. Hundreds of thousands of refugees are pouring out of Ukraine, medical care, food, shelter, and clothing are among the long list of emergency care needed right now. EEM is uniquely positioned to assist refugees through hundreds of partners on the front line of this crisis in Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, and Moldova. With over 60 years of time and experience–
Adam: I’m not going to play this entire video, but what you all can see here is an example of where he is providing an update to a large number of potential supporters and donors about the work that they’re doing really relevant to what’s gone on in Ukraine over the last couple months. One of the things we see is that video gives staff members an opportunity to provide those updates on the work they’re doing and to do so in a way that really can demonstrate the emotion and the responsiveness in this case to questions he was getting about whether they can accept and whether they were supporting that cause. I don’t know if Dirk’s able to hear me now or is off of mute, let’s give it one more try there. We’re going to keep going beyond this one, but Dirk, thanks for letting us share this example. If he joins us, we’ll go back and ask him some questions.
Dirk: Hi, first, let me–
Adam: Next example we want to share is another DonorPerfect client. This organization is called Pay Away the Layaway. In this example, you’re going to see how a staff member used video to thank donors who supported this organization during their Christmas fundraising appeal, which is the vast majority of where they raise money each year. In this case, they brought other staff members into it because they get a real influx of donations between the middle of November through the end of December.
In this example in this past year, send personalized videos to nearly everyone who supported the organization online. It gives them a way to humanize the organization itself to a lot of online donors, 95% of the gifts this organization receives come in online. To be able to send back a personal video with a real person in it, thanking someone for their gift, really, we saw make a difference as they looked to and worked to steward those donors.
Speaker 2: Hi, Adam, I just wanted to say thank you for your generous contribution to Pay Away the Layaway. With your help we’ve been able to pay off thousands’ worth of Layaways for families all across America and spread joy along the way. Your donation truly means the world to these families during this holiday season. We appreciate your commitment to our cause and are grateful for all of your support. Thank you once again, and we hope you have an amazing holiday season this year.
Adam: When we talk a little bit later about how to capture and collect these videos, and specifically how DP Video within DonorPerfect makes it easy to do that. In this case, they’re able to run a report, looking at donors who give on a daily basis and just go to those constituent profiles and click the button that says, send video there to send videos to people who make donations. The process is really super simple. They saw there of the 300 plus videos they sent last holiday season, a 72% open rate.
What we see across organizations that send videos through our platform is that those personalized videos get a really high open-rate. Especially if the video was sent from a timeliness standpoint, really close to when something happened, whether the donor made a gift or it was their birthday or they attended an event when that video stewardship is sent to them in close proximity to something that they would expect to be hearing from you about that we see open rates approaching even 80%. You saw on the previous one, the email from Dirk that went out to a larger number of donors still got a really high 59% open rate on that message.
Obviously, there was a timeliness and relevance to that video, given that it was talking about the situation in Ukraine, but in that case, we typically see the open rates be a little lower than you’d expect or what you see with some of the personalized video campaigns like this one here.
Go to the next one. This is another example I wanted to show Julie, you want to talk a little bit about what she did here with Greeley and how they incorporated video into the stewardship of their Golf Tournament?
Julie: Yes, absolutely. The staff at the Greeley Dream Team, what they do is they actually worked with the Greeley school system and this golf tournament provides funds towards mentoring students that are heading towards high school graduation moving into college and this yearly golf tournament, what she did was immediately following the tournament, she recorded and sent 48 personalized videos that were sent to boards, I’m sorry, whole sponsors. She recorded a personalized video for each, whether that was a person or an organization and then sent them off. We have an example of one of those here.
Ross Elizabeth: Hey, Ross Elizabeth here. Thank you so much to Northern Colorado Credit Union for your delicious hot warm cinnamon rolls that we had at the golf tournament. Thank goodness we had them they all went this year. The golfers loved them, so fabulous edition. Thanks to all of you over there at Northern Colorado Credit Union. Russ, thank you as well for your board whole sponsorship and all that you do for the board of directors. I really appreciate you and Russ, check out the weather. Good thing we had the golf tournament last week, right? Thanks Russ.
Student 1: Thank you for turning our dreams of going to college into reality.
Students: [crosstalk] Thank you.
Adam: Julie, a good example there of combining the two videos too.
Julie: Yes, absolutely. You always have the opportunity to start with a personalized video, but then add on that additional video like you saw here. One thing I always like to point out that this video was this went to a credit union and that gentleman, Russ, that received that video then forwarded that out to his entire staff. We saw all these forwards and opens and there was a huge impact from that one video with him being so blown away by the personalized thank you, and then forwarding it out to his entire staff who also got to see the impact that their generosity had.
Adam: That’s a great point, Julie. Sometimes that corporate stewardship is a little different than the individual donor stewardship because you’re thanking the representative of the company for what the company might have done. The other thing I think we’ve seen a couple times is where these videos that go out to companies thanking them for their support, the companies will often share that video on their own social media channels so that the broader community can see the support they’re giving to local organizations. That’s something else to think about when you’re deciding who to send videos to, don’t forget those corporate donors because they might use that video they received to promote themselves as a good corporate citizen within their community.
Elizabeth: Hey, Russ, Elizabeth here.
Adam: The other group we wanted to highlight was board members and being able to get your board members involved in fundraising by asking them to record videos to thank donors. In this example, you’re going to see how one, a local YMCA had their board members tell in this case a story of why they themselves give and why the why is important to them, but in the context of thanking a donor for a gift they just made. So I’ll play this short one here for everyone to get a look at and see how board members can be asked to do this as well.
Stacy: Hi, Nicoline. My name is Stacy and I serve on the board of directors for the Cannon Memorial, YMCA. I wanted to take a quick minute to share with you a personal story about this green wrist band. This green wrist band is my four year old daughter’s most prized possession. She earned it after many hours of swim lessons at the West [unintelligible 00:23:19] Y where she had some of her most favorite swim instructors. I know that it’s because of people like you that she, and so many other kids in our community are able to take swim lessons and have a safe place to learn. So thank you for your donation to the annual campaign. Thank you for continuing to give back to the YMCA. I hope you have a great day.
Adam: Just a quick and easy thank you video there and I think she recorded a couple dozen of these for supporters of that Y and so we know that it’s often a challenge to get board members involved in fundraising. Some of them are uncomfortable asking other people for money. Obviously you want to get board members that are comfortable doing that, but in this case, it’s a way to get board members involved in the fundraising work with maybe an area where they can be very comfortable, which is thanking a donor. In this case, she told her personal story. So she’s both a board member and a donor in this example and, and a great way to get them involved as well.
I want to share a video here that was sent as part of a national fraternity’s week of giving, where they had donors share stories about why they give and throughout the course of their week of giving, they were able to reshare those stories to others to hear why specific members of the fraternity have chosen to give back. One of the things we see here is that getting those stories from donors about why they give, can help inspire others to do the same because as they listen and hear a donor talk about why they themselves give, they hear themselves in those stories. Here’s a quick clip from this video that was shared via social media and email from one of their donors during their week of giving.
Donor 1: For me, it’s important that I would love for people that join the house at Iowa State, for example, get some of the same experience I did and the value out of it that’s been going on and the same thing across nationwide. I mean, that’s one of the reasons I donate. I mean, Triangle gave a lot to me and in terms of a scholarship, leadership training and all that, that I’m willing to give back even more throughout my life. To me, it’s paying it forward or paying it back and then paying it forward. It’s still the only thing I donate to from a collegiate standpoint, I don’t donate to the university whether undergrad or graduate school, I don’t donate to my old department. I’ve only donated to Triangle thus far. I’m not a top donor or anything, but I’ve been doing it for probably since I left college in 2004.
Adam: I know in that example, this video was collected via just a Zoom call that someone within the organization had with him. They conducted an interview with him, and we’re talking a minute about how to get these videos collected and captured but in this example, they did a quick Zoom interview and edited that down to have the video they shared here to capture that part of a story about why he gives. The other thing to realize is when you get a donor to verbalize why they themselves give, it just reemphasize for themselves how much they care about this cause and keeps them connected with the cause. I think once you get someone to talk about why they give the organization, it becomes pretty likely you’re gonna retain that donor once they’ve told their own story of giving an and why they support it. One more quick one here from Pay Away the Layaway, another example here of a donor sharing why they give.
Sue Watts: My name is Sue Watts. I support Pay Away the Layaway because I believe that it could have such a profound impact on somebody’s lives, somebody’s children’s lives and it gives people hope. Paying somebody’s layaway off, I love the idea because it’s very personal and it’s also unexpected when my kids were young and we went through a difficult time. I just remember how profoundly healing it was when other people were nice to my children, when they took the time to be sweet to my children or to do something just small, that is huge and I think a lot of what the organization does has an impact on children. Everybody has that terrible feeling of, I just don’t know if I can keep going on. I just don’t know how I’m going to make it.
If somebody got some feeling of being loved or cared for or important or whatever it was, just that boost that somebody needed is why I think it’s so important. Again, we’ve all had those times in our lives when we just felt like I can’t keep going. I hope that something like this gives people just a little boost that they need to say, okay, I’ll keep going another day.
Adam: You can hear the emotion in her story as she recalls her own life and how people at different points have helped her and now she’s in the position to give back and help others and finds that this is an organization for her to do that through. I love that video and you can see there the video was captured very simply by her recording into a webcam and we’ll talk a little bit about that in a second as well.
Last example we want to share here is really looking at beneficiaries of support. In this case, we’re going to talk. We hear from a student who’s thanking someone from an event that she was only able to attend, thanks to the support of a donor.
Macy Margaret: Hi, Ruth. My name’s Macy Margaret, and I’m from the Gamma Chi Chapter at Ball State University. I am here in Dallas, Texas at President’s Academy and I just want to say thank you so much for your loyal support of the Delta Zeta Foundation. Because of you and your generosity, I have been able to connect with so many sisters and learn how to successfully lead my chapter. Thank you.
Adam: When we share some of these beneficiary videos, we often have secondary school and higher ed ones to share because it’s so impactful to have a scholarship recipient or a student who’s able to do something above and beyond thanks to the support of donors. We’ve also seen that though, from other entities, we’ve seen animal shelters share videos of dogs and cats and other animals that they might have been able to save and highlighting the work that an organization does to be able to tell those stories and share them with donors after they make a gift. In this case, thanking a donor personally from an event that she was attending, thanks to the support of that donor and others like her. Julie, anything to add about other people to include or these four groups we’re mentioning here?
Julie: Let’s see. One of the things that we see sometimes other people do is thanking either scholarship recipients or mentors, thanking those people. Those end up being really impactful because oftentimes those people will make a gift. Especially if they’re not local, sometimes places will have maybe an event where you can meet your scholarship donor or someone who’s helped you along your journey, and creating and sending them a personalized video has a huge impact.
Similar to that Delta Zeta example, she’s thanking someone who made a gift, but oftentimes we see a lot of people thanking someone specifically that’s helped them along their way. That’s one of those places where we usually see someone getting a thank you for sending a thank you.
Adam: Thank you. Let’s talk a little bit about the how of capturing video because while these things are great and clearly there’s a big impact from sending videos or incorporating videos into your communications. Sometimes figuring out how to do it can be a little overwhelming. Video’s one of those things that a lot of people find complicated and difficult when it comes to editing and things like that. We want to share a little bit about how easy we’ve made it to collect and capture video and we’ll start by talking about a DP video within CauseVid. Julie, can you talk here for a minute about DP video and how it works?
Julie: Yes, absolutely. Within DonorPerfect, you always have the ability to click to send a video message to any one of your donors. When you navigate to their donor profile, you can see send video there in between contacts and bio. When you click on that, the first step is actually adding your logo in, so we can put that into the video, but once you move past that, what we do is automatically pull over the donor’s information and drop that into the email fields. You enter your subject line and email body text, and then you’re able to directly from that one window and screen, record that personalized video message.
Once you click record video, it’s going to ask to access your camera. You’ll record that video and submit that. You then also have the option to include that second video like we’ve seen in some of our examples. Then after that, you can add a call to action button. If you want to drive someone to make a donation, put a learn more and send them over to your website, you can always do that. You also don’t have to put a button at all.
Once you have that all set and exactly how you want, you just click send video now, and that will send the email off to the donor, it will also create an activity record so you can always go back and look at that donor and see that you’ve sent them video messages in the past. One thing you can do is everyone has the ability to send 10 free trial videos as well.
Adam: As you look at that previous page there, my little red box moved on me, but the send video button is here, there. If you haven’t tried it already, I encourage you to pick a constituent within your database, maybe it’s a coworker, and click that send video button and give it a try to send a couple of videos for free and see what you guys think. I’d also encourage you to actually thank a donor and pick someone who might be a recent donor or a first-time donor, a monthly donor, whoever it might be, and see the impact that these videos can have when you send it.
It’s really simple and straightforward to use. This is really for staff end-users. If you’re a staff member and you have access to DonorPerfect, or you’re a DonorPerfect user, you can go ahead and click that button that says send video. We talked a lot here about getting videos from donors, from board members. Obviously, those individuals aren’t necessarily going to have access to your database. That’s where DP Video Plus comes in and the ability we’ve created to request videos from other people and to do so in a couple of ways. Julie, do you want to talk about the video request pages or video collection pages that are available as well as the email video requests that can be sent out as assignments to others?
Julie: Yes, absolutely. I’ll start first with the email request that can be sent out to others. Just as Adam said, we’ve talked a lot about collecting video from other people, but then the question becomes, “How do I do that?” We’ve all encountered not being able to attach a video file that’s too large for an email and it just becomes a real cumbersome process. What we did to make it easier is we send what we would call a clip request. That’s an email that goes out to that person who would like to record the video for you.
It’s a little bit small there, but you can see what that email looks. Each one of those emails include the recipient’s name, who exactly do you want that person to thank and you can also include some informational text there. Maybe you have board members recording videos for first-time donors. You can put a note maybe when they made their gift, if they made it to a certain fund, anything that might help them further personalize that video a little bit more. Then each recipient has a unique recording link listed underneath.
When the person who you’re asking to record the video is ready, they just click that link so they can do that on their computer, iPad, phone, it doesn’t matter. They click that link, record their video, and then they hit submit. Another barrier we’ve taken down there is they don’t need to be a user in any CauseVid or DonorPerfect platform, they would just click that link and have the ability to record and then hit submit. You receive that video back and you can review it before you actually send it to anyone.
There’s a quality control measure there before your donor’s going to receive the end video from you. The video request page that actually was developed when we had multiple clients ask for ways to easily collect testimonial content. What you can do there is you have one unique link to your organization and you can take that link and distribute it anywhere. Oftentimes what we’ll see is that link put into a newsletter and you might ask people, “How has our organization impacted you? Can you tell me about that in a video?”
They click that link and give their name and email address. They give you consent to use the video, they hit record and once they hit submit, that’s stored in what we call your video library, where you can review those videos, you can download them, you can use them through a video email campaign, or you can take them and put them on your website, but I describe that as a much better substitute than Dropbox for collecting and moving video around.
Darryl: Adam, I think we lost your audio.
Adam: Thank you. What I’m saying is how you have an example here of what that clip reminder looks like and what happens when you click it. When you click one of those, you’ll go to a mobile responsive page where you’re able to decide whether to upload or record your video. As a board member or a volunteer, very simple to do, they click that button, they get asked whether they want to pick a pre-recorded video in their library or record one right now and go ahead and do that. We don’t really see really, Julie any trouble from people trying to respond to those clip requests and submit them.
It’s not something people start chatting with us about. They can, the chats on the page if they have any technical issues. Generally speaking, we find that that’s a pretty simple and easy process for everyone who’s asked to do it regardless of their level of tech aptitude.
Julie: Yes, I agree with that.
Adam: The other thing I want to mention is the idea of guided interviews. One of the things that we shared there was a self-guided way to get a video from somebody, but here we just want to talk a minute about opportunities for organizations to collect those videos themselves via some kind of interview. You’ll see a couple of images there where they on-site have set up the video version of a photo booth to put someone in front of a camera and ask them to record videos. This can also be done remotely via Zoom, if you record Zoom meeting, you download that recording and use it as part of a video you might want to send out to others.
One of the tips I would give anyone who tries to record videos via Zoom is to make sure they’re recording onto their computer and not into the cloud. When you record a Zoom meeting, you get that option. when you record into the cloud, the resolution of the video is lower than if you record it onto your own computer and on your own device. You’ll get a higher resolution video coming out of that when you do that.
Then the last section we want to talk about here before opening it up for questions is really looking at who should you send videos to? Who’s the best group. Obviously, everyone is an option, but we need to prioritize who it is you have the time to send a video to. If we think about donors in your own database, we often suggest starting with monthly donors. It’s a great group. If you have 30 or 40 monthly donors, taking an hour or two to click and record each of them a video, thanking them for their continuous support of the organization.
It’s a great group to send videos to maybe two or three times a year. You spend an hour or two, record some videos for those monthly donors and really make them feel special and appreciated. We know most of them will get that monthly receipt, but sometimes the stewardship touch gets lost on them beyond that because their individual transactions aren’t particularly large, but some of them over a year or multiple years gets quite large in some cases.
Making sure not to forget those monthly donors is important. It’s often one of the first groups we suggest a new user of DP Video does choose to give it a try with.
The other group is first-time donors. Obviously, they’re making their first gift to your organization. You have an opportunity there to share more information about what it is in your course and connect with them very quickly to try to get them to become a recurring donor and become a donor you’re able to retain. The first-time donors is another group that we always recommend. I know that we have a couple of DP Video users that do that religiously on a weekly basis, send videos to their first-time donors.
Then I think you saw an example earlier from Gary of a major donors or prospective major donors where you’re able to use video to engage with them and identify them within your database and pretty easy to run a query and get a report on DonorPerfect of donors that meet these criteria. Go ahead and click on them and go right to the constituent profile where you can click send video and send them a quick video. You’ll see, on the right here, I’m just sharing one example of a reply that pay away the layaway got back last holiday season here, he wrote back said, “I think it’s awesomely amazing that your organization takes the time to make personal thank you video recordings. That truly made my day.”
That’s a common thing. You heard Gary say that one or two people will respond to his videos on a weekly basis as he sends them. That’s one of the things we see from a qualitative standpoint of the impact that sending these videos does have on your donors and your relationship with them. Then, Julie, you want to talk a little bit about some of these other examples of donors that could receive videos and direct people to where they can find more examples of these?
Julie: Yes, absolutely. You can always come to our website and see some examples and you can also always reach out to us if you have a specific use case we haven’t highlighted here. I’m sure we have an example that we can share with you. Three different examples here. One of my favorites I’m going to skip to the bottom first before I do the other two is birthdays. That’s my favorite because you can do it in a variety of ways. You can sit down and record one personalized video, depending on the type of organization you have. You might pull a group of people together that all sing or say happy birthday all at once and include that as a second video after the personalized one.
What I really like most about this is the ability to then schedule them out. That is part of DP Plus but you could sit down and record 100 birthday videos to your donors in one day and then schedule them out and you have your stewardship touch going for a year without– it’s like a set it and forget it. There is no ask. There’s nothing associated. You’re just reaching out and saying happy birthday which is, I think really nice. The other one I’ll cover giving day donors. Whether that’s giving Tuesday or you run your own giving day.
I see two different videos, twofold that you can use for giving days. The first one is reaching out with an awareness email. Depending on your organization, maybe you segment that list into people that this board member specifically knows these people, and they’re going to reach out to them and make sure they know that their giving day is coming up. The other video, of course, after a giving day is a thank you. We find that a personalized video on the day of, or the day after, or as soon as you can, is super impactful, no matter the size of the gift. Another way you can hit all those donors is segment that list out. Maybe your major donors you’ll sit down and you’ll send a personalized video to, but everyone else will get another video at least thanking them even if it’s not personalized.
Finally, event attendees. Of course, as we start to see more live and in-person events, we want to thank those people for coming back and supporting us and attending. Again, segmenting that list. If someone made a gift during the event, you could always send them a personalized video, but I find it impactful to always send any attendee a nice thank you for taking the time out of their day to attend.
Adam: We’ve seen some organizations, Julie, able to create some FOMO by sending the videos out to people who didn’t attend the event as well. “Hey, we had this great event, wish you could have been here,” and send them a video, maybe it encourages them to come next time. I think we’ve also seen some use it as an invitation tool as well, right?
Julie: Yes, absolutely. They’ve included footage from past years, invited people. They use it as a save the date for the next year event and we also sometimes see it as another ask. “Hey, I know you weren’t able to attend, but if you still want to support us, you can click the button below and do so.”
Adam: Thanks everyone for listening to our presentation. We’ve got some time set aside for questions. I’ll go ahead and stop sharing and just come to the three of us here on screen and Darryl, see if there’s any questions that have come in.
Darryl: Indeed there are. You’ve got quite a few that have come in here. Let me go ahead and just dive into a couple of them. A lot of questions addressing these videos that are one-shot streams versus the marketing videos and so forth. One of their questions is could you show an example? I know we maybe didn’t prepare for that of some of the promotional videos that you’ve got out there, but I think it would be interesting for our group here to hear you were talking about open rates and I suspect that the open rates for a personalized video is a lot of the numbers that you’ve been talking about.
Can you expand a little bit on the personalized video versus maybe the group video, open rates and also share a little bit about the best-recommended length for each of those? I know that was a question further on down the stream.
Adam: I can speak to the length piece in particular. I know that we will often see and there’s data showing that at about the one minute and ten-second mark, you start to lose a lot of viewers. If you look at any video analytics, you’ll see that. We often recommend especially those personalized videos that you make sure you get the majority of your message in the first 45 seconds of the video if you want to make sure people actually watch it. That’s really important.
You can continue on into a longer video, but sometimes even if they open a three-minute video and they see it’s three minutes long or five minutes long, they might not even watch the first 10 seconds of it once they see how long it is. We always recommend keeping it to that just over a minute, maybe a minute and a half-length, or if you’re going to share a longer video, making it very clear right at the beginning what it is you’re showing and asking them to keep watching to see the full story and message you’re going to be able to share there.
Darryl: That’s really about the length part of it. As far as the open rate aspect of a personalized versus a group video.
Julie: I can speak to that part of it. We often see personalized videos have a higher open rate than what we would call a non-personalized or general video. I think part of that’s attributed to the timeliness of that video that you’re sending and if they know you or not. If you recently made a gift and the subject line says, “Thank you for your gift to the organization you just made it to,” you’re more likely to open that and see that personalized video. We always say it’s a timeliness factor with a lot of these aspects with the personalized videos. There are really strong non-personalized videos.
We saw that one from Eastern European mission, but what a lot of organizations will do is not just blast their entire database. Maybe sending a general video, but segmenting your donors out that we’ll have an investment in the content that you’re sending. That will also increase the open rate because they’re interested in the subject matter. You’re not just continually blasting them with things that they may not be quite as interested in. If they continually see these video messages from you and know that it’s relevant content or personalized content, again, they’re a lot more likely to open those videos as well.
Adam: The Other thing I’ll mention there too, is it becomes really important is the subject line. Just like any other email you might receive, having a good subject line is what’s going to get that email to be more likely to be opened. We have some best practices we recommend when someone’s sending a bigger video like that. Especially because we not only want them to open it, when they open it, we want them to click and watch the video. We’ll make some strong suggestions as to the length of a subject line, keeping it between five and seven words. We have the ability to merge. In DP Plus, you can merge the donor’s name into the subject line for an additional level of personalization.
We’ll often find ourselves seeing campaigns that customers are creating or sending. If we notice one that has a particularly high or low open rate, looking very closely at what that campaign was set up as, and seeing if we can make some recommendations. Especially on the ones that are low, one of the things we see if the click rate is low, sometimes they put too much text in the email itself. If you try to say everything you want to say in the text portion of the email before someone scrolls down to the video, they might just read it and never click the video.
We always encourage people to make sure that the text in the email is short like five to seven lines because when someone opens it on their phone, you want them to see that animated preview before they have to scroll. That’s something that we see helps a lot with the click-through rate as well.
Darryl: Great suggestions. Patty asks if the recipient needs to click a link to open the video, is there a barrier to that because people are told to never click the link to avoid viruses? How can they protect against that?
Adam: That’s a great question. I think one of the things that is unique about the way videos get sent via DP Video in CauseVid is that they’re not clicking a link. They’re clicking an animated image of the video itself. It’s very common for the person to get that video to recognize who it is. If I get an animated video from Darryl or Julie who I know, I’m going to trust that email, it comes from Darryl. That makes a big difference. We’re not just saying click a link. We’re showing you an image of something to click and that image is of someone you recognize and you know.
Darryl: Lisa had asked the difference between DP Video, I believe, Standard and DP Video Plus. Julie, you had shown DP Video Standard, which for the most part is that button right on the donor record so that they can issue personalized. Could you expand a little bit on what Plus includes?
Julie: Yes, absolutely. As Darryl said, DP Standard that allows you to send one-to-one personalized video messages through DonorPerfect. You only log into DonorPerfect, you send them one by one by clicking on that donor’s profile. DP Plus allows you a real access to expanded features and benefits from CauseVid. You actually log into the Causevid platform and that gives you the ability to create three different types of campaigns so you can still send one-to-one personalized video.
You can send that one general video to 2 or 2000 people at once, and then you can also create a personalized video with the non-personalized. You can also do that in DP but you’re going to do them one by one. Within DP Plus, we make that a lot more streamlined and faster for you. You have access to the video library, which we mentioned as well as that video request page, where you can collect testimonials. You can create campaigns and then add people into them continually week after week. It’s a much more feature-heavy version of sending videos.
Darryl: You gave the example of 2000 on the upper limit, is that a physical example, or was that just a theoretical? Is it unlimited?
Julie: Just theoretical. Once you have a subscription to either Standard or Plus, everything is unlimited.
Adam: Darryl, I noticed a question here from Dave Charlton asking about spam folders and being able to use your own domains from the field. One of the things in DP Standard you’re able to specify is the sender name and any reply to that email is going to come right back to you as the user who sent the video. While they come from my videos at causevid.com, the reply address is the sender’s email address. With some organizations that are on DP Video Plus, we do have the ability to send in your own domain. It’s a tech setup thing, we can do from our end and is available as part of DP Video Plus if people want to be able to actually have the sending domain be their own.
We’ve done that for a number of clients, both on Outlook in Gmail I know Julie, right?
Julie: Yes. Correct.
Darryl: I saw that was a question in there. Thanks for grabbing that, Adam. Taylor asked, “What is the best way to tell a story when no one wants to be on camera? The issue is that our organization have trouble getting board members, staff, and recipients in front of the camera. Is there a way to say thank you and have a personalized video without having people on video?”
Darryl: I suppose one of the way is that you could record a standard video and still send it from a personalized account because you’d be able to basically attach that standard video and the email would go out with the address in the title line to the individual, that they would at least feel somewhat personalized. I think, Taylor, that might actually be missing the point. We say this at DonorPerfect all the time, the thank-you videos are like the modern-day handwritten note. Seeing your facial expressions, hearing your voice is all about communicating that personal touch, just like seeing my sloppy handwriting. [chuckles] I’m not sure [crosstalk]
Julie: I sometimes say it’s the equivalent of leaving a voicemail with your face. Exactly what you would say if you got someone’s voicemail and you were going to leave a thank you message, you’re doing the same thing, except they can just see you and make that face-to-face connection. A lot of times when we’ve heard this before, we say we encourage people to record at least five videos and send them to, I don’t know, a family member, another staff member who’s also recording videos.
You find after you record enough, you get into a rhythm and a cadence with it and it doesn’t feel as awkward. I used to hate seeing myself on video and hearing my own voice. Now it’s like, it’s just another part of my day of recording these videos. Of course, I do it day in and out but we hear that from a lot of people that once you just rip the bandaid off and dive in, it gets a lot easier. Especially when you get that response back from people about how much they love the video, that encourages you to continue to record.
Darryl: Another question here which I’d love to hear your thoughts on, Chloe asked, “A lot of these are very casual raw footage. Is it more effective than putting together a video with multiple clips and background music?”
Adam: Yes. There’s a place for both. We’ve certainly seen some organizations going into a capital campaign and they’ve spent thousands of dollars to produce a video that tells the whole story of the capital campaign and why they’re trying to raise millions of dollars. Those videos are great. They’re great videos to put on your website. They’re great videos to put on YouTube and they’re great videos to put behind a personalized video. Just as a day-to-day video to send, that level of production isn’t necessary. It’s more often we see it effective to just record that simple, quick, personalized video to someone than to have to wait to get that full professional video produced.
There’s a place for both but I think that what we’re trying to do with DP Video is make video accessible to all nonprofits, regardless of their size, regardless of their budgets, making it at a really affordable price point where within DonorPerfect, you simply click the button, send video and you’re done. You don’t have to worry about the production of it.
Darryl: Julie, I know you answered this one but I just wanted to share it with the whole group here. The average open rate of CauseVid email is 59% to 69% and you were asked what’s the average email or the open rate of a regular email, which typically can hover around 21% but, of course, I’ve seen 5% and 30% depending on what that is but you’re almost getting a 3X improvement here.
Julie: We attribute a lot of that to the personalized videos. Like you said, there’s a time and place to send that one video out to many people but the timeliness and the content of your personalized video will have a huge impact on that open rate.
Darryl: A resource for good subject line best practices, CauseVid may have some. Certainly, our constant contact sessions have usually addressed that. Feel free to look for some of those out there. Julie, Adam, any resources you know?
Adam: I’ve certainly read lots of them before. I always find that going to NextAfter’s website is a great resource to find advice on writing any kind of nonprofit digital fundraising material. If you’re not familiar with NextAfter, they do a ton of AB testing of subject lines, email length, online donation pages. They have all these different things they’ve done. I find that I myself look there oftentimes to see any tests they’ve done to help identify where a subject line could be most effective.
Darryl: Here’s another excellent question. When sending the video through DonorPerfect, can someone see if they’ve opened and watched the video?
Adam: They can certainly see it within their CauseVid account. If they log into the CauseVid side, they can see those opens and clicks. I’m not sure if a DP Video Standard customer can see that within DonorPerfect right now, but they do see the activity record that it was sent.
Julie: They don’t see if it was opened or viewed within DP Standard.
Adam: If someone wanted to see that information for their DP Standard account, email support at causevid.com, we’re happy to pull that report and get it over to you.
Darryl: With all the advent of COVID and being on Zoom, virtual backgrounds, is that a possibility, something that they can make work in DP Video?
Adam: We’ve been asked that before. I don’t think we’ve really looked into it much from a technical standpoint to add those virtual backgrounds. I’ll tell you what, one of the best videos I like is from the organization, the Perkins Institute out in Australia. They send a personalized video to every first-time donor and they just walk around their facility and she’ll take videos from different labs and research facilities and different areas in the building to show them the actual place that they’re supporting.
I would much rather see an organization do that than try to create a fake background if you have a physical location. Think of other ways you can demonstrate the impact your organization has by where you take that video. We’re also used to the situation where Julie’s sitting in an office right now, Darryl looks like he’s home and I’m here in my home office. I think that worrying about that at this point is probably not something most people concern themselves with when they’re getting and watching a video like that.
Darryl: We’ve actually hit the end of our session, so I would just want to thank Adam and Julie, as well as your clients that you had pulled into Dirk and Gary. Sorry, we couldn’t get Jack on here but this was really a great session. I wanted to remind everyone that your questions, I think we’ve gotten them all answered. There are some written answers that are in there if you want to go ahead and cruise through that.
Coming up right after this, we’ve got another power session with DP Forms as well as a presentation on volunteer local. No matter what session you choose, you’ll not miss any content since they’re all being recorded and you’ll be getting the links later. I know there were some questions about that. Thank you again, Dirk, Gary, Adam, Julie. I appreciate it.
Adam: Thanks, Darryl.
Julie: Thank you so much. Take care, everyone.Read Less