Many organizations use a thank you video to give donors a special thank you that comes from the heart. Here’s a great one from Doctors Without Borders that comes up immediately following a donation:

Its simple message, in the words of someone doing Doctors Without Borders’ great work, “We could not do this work without you, and we want to thank you for your continued support,” connects the donor immediately to the effects of a donation.

Social media synthesizes well with a thank you video

Watching the thank you video on YouTube doesn’t bring a viewer to the same page as a donor sees, but following the Doctors Without Borders video, a donor sees the message: Increase your impact – Share your support for Doctors Without Borders

With social media sharing buttons–one for Facebook, and one for Twitter. It’s always powerful to show potential donors among your donors’ Facebook friends and Twitter followers that people they know donate to your organization. Having the thank you video can make that even more powerful, given the popularity of videos on social media. You might even get re-tweets or shares. 

Thank you videos are popular

The Urban Institute did a study of donor retention that found that only 2% of organizations retain more than 70% of their donors. Only slightly more than 25% retain 50% or more of their donors from one year to the next. Finding new donors is expensive; it makes far more sense to retain donors who gave you money in the past. So even though a thank you video is for a smaller audience than other kinds of videos—only people who have just made a donation—it’s well worth the investment. It’s also a great place for a very short and inexpensive format, with one person doing the talking in a message that takes 30 seconds or a minute.

Donor management technology recommendation service Software Advice did a study of how donors prefer to be thanked, and while they didn’t study how people feel about a thank you video specifically, donors far and away preferred impact stories to news about the nonprofit, information about its upcoming events, or information about progress to the campaign goal. As we’ve stated before, video is a great format for impact stories.

NetworkforGoodplaylistthankyouvideosNetwork for Good collected eight thank you videos in a playlist; their list has their own, two by The Nature Conservancy, and a number of others. The videos vary in length from 34 seconds to just one that is more than three minutes (an outlier by Minnesota Public Radio—none of the others quite reach two minutes). A thank you video is a time for simplicity and warmth. It lets the donors you value so much especially at this time of year go about their day knowing that they’ve made a difference.

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