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How to create donor thank-you videos that make an impact

November 15, 2021
These nonprofit donors are smiling and watching a thank-you video on a tablet.

Video is a powerful way to communicate a message, and thank-you messages are no exception. Video engages the viewer to create a more memorable experience than a letter or email alone can replicate. Using videos to thank your nonprofit organization’s donors can make your message feel more personal and impactful.

You don’t need expensive equipment or complex editing software to create an effective donor thank-you video—even small nonprofits can easily take advantage of all that video has to offer. Learn how you can create videos that thank and engage donors with this short guide. 

Let’s get started by discussing different opportunities for using donor thank-you videos. 

Ways to use donor thank-you videos

Your nonprofit can use videos in a variety of ways and at different times in the gift cycle. Here are just a few good opportunities to thank donors with a video:

1. Campaign wrap-up

A celebratory video is a perfect way to wrap up a successful fundraising campaign. Create a video that thanks everyone who contributed, shares the results of the campaign, and details which initiatives the funds will support. Then, share the video on your organization’s social media pages as well as through email. 

2. Project completion

Show donors what their gifts helped you accomplish by creating a video after a project has been completed. Include footage of the project and testimonials from members of the community who benefited. Not only is this type of donor thank-you video especially memorable for donors, but you can also share it with your wider community of supporters to show off the important work you’ve done.

3. Personal thanks

You can create a personalized, one-to-one video message from your team to thank a donor for a major gift or honor the anniversary of a specific gift. These videos are special because they’re crafted just for an individual donor. The impact of these videos is substantial, and donors won’t forget them.

4. Year-end appreciation

Thanksgiving and the end of the year are ideal times to send a video celebrating the work you and your donors have accomplished together and emphasizing how much you appreciate them. Use this opportunity to instill a feeling of partnership and inclusiveness. Create a video collage of photos from the year’s projects and events, or film a special message from your executive director. These inspirational videos are a great way to motivate donors to continue giving.

How to create an impactful donor thank-you video

While you don’t need to be a professional videographer, there are a few essentials you’ll want to include to make sure your video is meaningful to your donors:

  • Show what you accomplished. There’s nothing as rewarding as seeing what a donation turned into. No matter what type of video you create, show donors what you accomplished in the form of images, testimonials, and impact stories.
  • Include a message from a community member. Donors love hearing firsthand what a donation meant to someone. Film a community member speaking about the impact of the project, or simply include a text quote from a beneficiary.
  • Include a message from a team member. Donors partner with your organization to accomplish work you both care about. Hearing from one of your team members will solidify the spirit of teamwork. It also provides a behind-the-scenes look at the work to make them feel more like a part of your organization.
  • Keep it short. Thank-you videos work best if they are no longer than two minutes. Most people are busy, so be sure they can reasonably watch your video in one sitting. Brevity also improves the chances of it being shared and watched again on social media.

There are plenty of ways to get creative with your video content using these tips. Take inspiration from other successful donor thank-you videos, then brainstorm ideas with your team. No matter what, make sure you create videos with your donors’ preferences in mind. 

Tools to make the video creation process easier

We recommend using fundraising software that comes with a built-in video tool, like Bonterra Donor Engagement’s Guided Fundraising solution (formerly Network for Good). This way, you can create and send videos, track results, and follow up right from the same platform. If you don’t have fundraising software with built-in video capabilities, smartphones can also record and edit quality videos. Then, attach your videos to an email and make your supporters’ day!

Whatever kind of donor appreciation video you create, your supporters will be excited to see and hear from you in this format. Get creative, experiment, and show your gratitude in a new way.

Looking for more tips on how to create meaningful thank-yous? Read our 10 Creative Ways to Thank Donors guide to learn what makes a thank-you effective, what to avoid, and when to say thank you.

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    Donor Engagement
  • Nonprofits
  • Digital communications & marketing