YouTube Your Way To Fundraising Success

By Caroline Sutton

There’s no escaping the power of a great video to capture attention.  25 million people in the UK are registered to watch and more importantly, share videos they see on the social media platform YouTube.

This year why not plan to show some of your charity or not-for-profits work in a video instead of as a piece to read? This can be really effective for a range of audiences who get their info by watching.

Here’s some reasons why?

  • Many younger people are completely immersed in video culture and  are comfortable viewing films on all manner of screens from mobiles to TV. They can be a hard to reach audience for charities or not-for-profits.
  • Some people can’t read very well, or find reading text online difficult, so appreciate watching and listening than ploughing through a long article.
  • A video will stay on YouTube for a long time and should be a slow burner in terms of attracting attention to your organisation. Over time, your film could build up an audience and have a longer life than a Facebook post or email, for just a little more work.
  • YouTube is a social site, designed for easy sharing. If your video captures someone’s imagination they are likely to Tweet about it or put it on their Facebook page, spreading your charities message virally. This can happen really quickly resulting in the latest YouTube hit or more realistically, build up a larger audience over time.

Quick tips for YouTube beginners

1. Don’t worry about high-production values or producing the next Gangnam Style vid.   No-one can really predict what will make a YouTube hit and it would be pointless to aim to have one.

What you do need to think about is who your audience will be and what you want to show them about your organisation.

2. While charities may struggle with this, there is no doubt that emotive stories which tug at the heartstrings are more likely to be shared.

That doesn’t mean you will be ‘exploiting’ the people who use your services.  Local charity the Brighton Housing Trust recently released their 12 Days of Christmas Charity videos. The short films with music show the work of the Trust and the people they help. They are poignant, uplifting and moving.

While their first broadcast may have been at Christmas, it’s clear that these videos illustrate the importance of their work and will have resonance for a long time.

3. It is easy to produce a more professional video with music and titles and captions with a little homework using Windows Live Movie Maker or iMovie on a Mac.

4. Grab your camera and interview your chief exec, service user or local fundraiser.  Take a tour of where you work, show the people you help, film your next event. Make a series of films about your next campaign from the ideas stage to completion. Follow one service user over time and through their story.

There are so many amazing ways to join the video world and they can be done on a shoestring and be extremely effective.

5. Promote your video on your social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook and keep the link on your website home page to maximise the spread of people likely to see it. Include your YouTube channel link on your email signature or literature, so that its longevity continues.

6. YouTube has also set up a channel to help non-profits. You need to apply to join but if you are successful you will get increased branding, upload capacity and the opportunity to be featured in promoted areas of YouTube for free.

Want to know more about Social Media marketing and PR? We can offer training, social media consultations and run low-cost courses with SM trainer Caroline Sutton as part of our services to charities and community groups.

Contact us SCIP on 01273 234049 or email [email protected]

Photo by Rego –