Merritt C. Birnbaum didn’t have a big budget or a team of volunteers to help her when she set out to produce a new fund-raising video for Youth Renewal Fund. But she had a creative idea.
“We strove to create a video that would place the work we do in context, revealing to the audience the reality and scope of the problems our programs are working to solve,” says Ms. Birnbaum, the New York charity’s marketing and development director. “In this way, we veered away from a literal description of the organization, focusing on the ‘why’ versus the ‘what.’”
One of the charity’s supporters suggested that the group create a video that included a series of text-based facts that pointed to the problems the charity seeks to solve.
The text was presented over video clips and images that were purchased from iStock Photo, a Web site that offers stock images and video at a low cost, as well as some images from the organization’s past projects.
Ms. Birnbaum wrote and produced the piece and worked with a freelance film editor to produce the finished video.
The project cost the charity less than $6,000 — and it became the center of a text-message appeal at a recent fund-raising dinner that encouraged guests to pledge money to the organization on their mobile phones.
The appeal raised $22,150 in pledges and Ms. Birnbaum says the video has since been posted to the organization’s Web site and to YouTube.
“As a small organization in a tough economy, we needed to think creatively with an eye towards fiscal responsibility,” she says. “It does go outside the realm of traditional nonprofit videos and presents a solution for small nonprofits who may be able to utilize in-house resources they haven’t yet considered.”
Has your organization used a video campaign to raise money and attention? If so, send me an e-mail with the embed code and some information about the results. We’ll post the most interesting submissions in Prospecting.