One of the most important things you can do as part of your fundraising or business all year round—and especially as the year draws to a close–is to thank people. Handwritten notes are always appreciated. But if you really want to stand out, think about providing every donor, customer, investor, or mentor—or all those at a certain level—with a thank you video. It’s easier than you might think.
Nonprofits and businesses are already using the thank you video
The thank you video is between the organization and its donors, or company and its customers, and you may already had the pleasure of seeing one if you fall into these categories. Some interesting thank you videos have “gone public,” though, and the example of Charity:Water gives a feel for what’s out there. The video below is one of many that they’ve produced—a simple thank you video that makes you wish a little bit that you were the Beerman Family:
When Paull and Lauren say thanks for helping people, it’s a heartfelt message from people who believe so much in the organization that they choose to work there, direct to people who believe so much in the organization that they donated.
Here’s another example, a thank you from a beneficiary of charitable gifts to the University of South Carolina:
It’s always great to get the point of view of a beneficiary, and obviously the University didn’t have to travel very far to find their spokeswoman! A business thanking an investor might feature a happy customer.
Thank you video dos and don’ts
Do. Keep it short and simple. Less than a minute is really all you need to say thank you. This means you won’t be editing much, which saves costs—but it does mean you need a good, continuous clip.
Do. Have a plan. Whether or not you write a script, having a plan will prevent rambling and allow you to create the kind of simple structure that makes a thank you video great. For example, start by recognizing the specific contribution, continue by describing the impact, and then end with a heartfelt description of gratitude. Or start by describing the viewer’s relationship with your business this year, continue by describing how that fits into your overall growth or changing business, and then say thanks again. Involving any person(s) who will speak in the video in making the plan will enhance the smoothness.
Do. Use your logo in the beginning and the end, if you are able. Even if you have camera shake, as some of the Charity:Water videos do, or a touch of snow, as the University of South Carolina one does, a logo provides a solid anchor. It’s comparable to using your organization’s stationery for a handwritten note.
Don’t. Feel like you have to break the bank. Every touch of professionalism articulates to your donors or customers that you cared enough about their experience to make the thank you video look good. At the same time, you want to preserve a sense of honesty and emotion, and touches of spontaneity an increase your the sense that you’re saying thanks from the heart. Just as you might handwrite a note, but only if your handwriting looks decent, take a measured approach to making your thank you video look good.
Don’t. Assume a professional can’t help with this. Depending on your budget, having a video production company come to your office and shoot a large number of thank you videos might be quite affordable—and you will likely see a good return on your investment in goodwill and donor or customer retention. If you’d rather do the shooting yourself, you can still get help with scripting, animating your logo, or adding your logo and other touches. In addition, if you’re preparing a video plan for your year, a company like MiniMatters can help you consider how a thank you video program might fit in, and what your budget should be.
Donor and customer retention, and encouraging people to increase their commitment over time are critical elements of organizational development. A thank you video is a highly effective way of doing this.
If MiniMatters can help you with business video, fundraising video, association video, or other video production needs, we’d love to provide an estimate through our online form, talk with you at 301-339-0339, or communicate via email at [email protected]. We serve associations, foundations, nonprofits, and businesses primarily in Washington, DC, Maryland, and northern Virginia.