Nonprofits understand the importance of sending acknowledgement letters and making phone calls to thank their donors.  These are simple and effective ways of thanking your donors, but creating Thank You videos can help you show rather than tell your supporters how much you appreciate them.  By creating thank you videos for your supporters, you are able to give thanks in a more exciting and engaging way.

To show your donors just how grateful you are for their support, here are 10 tips for creating thank you videos that will change the way you show gratitude:

1. Emphasize Your Mission

Donors want to be in alignment with your mission. It’s important to connect the donor’s personal mission with your own. People donate their money because they want to see the impact in their community and in the world. Show them how they have helped make that possible by connecting their contribution with the change that it made.

2. Don’t Make it Another Ask

It’s tempting to use this as an opportunity to ask your donor for more money, but this is not the time.  While you have their attention, it could be an opportunity to tell them about an upcoming volunteer opportunity or ask them to share your mission video with friends. It’s important to stay focused on the donor and their impact on your mission.

3. Be Transparent

Transparency builds trust with your donor. They want to know that you have used their money wisely.   Give donors insight on the progress of the program or service that they supported.  Even if their donation went to operating expenses, show them how those operating funds allowed you to expand your mission. Donors want to feel involved in your organization, so keep them updated on what’s going on and how they had a part in making it possible.

4. Keep It Short and Sweet

This is not the time to pack everything about your organization into one video. Keep the video short and simple by focusing on direct impact. Remember, this is one of many touch points you will have with your donor over the year and you want to use the short time wisely.

5. Make it Timely

Donors deserve to feel like they are a priority and like they are a part of the family.  Sending the thank you as soon as you can ensures that they feel valued, and lets them know that their support is not being taken for granted.

6. Recognize Their Contribution

You can add an extra touch to your thank you by recognizing specifics in the donor’s contribution. For your larger donors, making a video just for them with specific giving amounts and how their donation made an impact can go a long way.  Use this as a chance to connect the donor to your organization and show how vital they are to the present and future of your organization’s mission.

7. Keep it Personal

This one is hard to scale, but personalize as much as you can. If your donor is in the top 15% of givers, they should not be getting a generic thank you video. Make it personal to them. We recommend going with a platform like ThankView to use technology to make the video and messaging personal.  You can always record separate endings for each donor on your list. It can be a lot of work, but the impact to the donor is incredible.

8. Get Creative

It can be easy to get lost in talking about your organization’s impact and connecting with the donor that you don’t prioritize the main point of the video: the actual “thank you”. Have some fun with it! Does your organization help kids in the inner city? Gather some kids around the camera and have them thank the donor personally. Do you build houses for the underserved? Hang a big “Thank You!” sign over the door with a happy homeowner giving their thanks.

9. Tone

No matter what your mission is, you want to make the world a better place. Let that desire to make a difference guide the tone of your videos.  Remember to keep it upbeat. If you are personalizing dozens of them, make sure each one is as enthusiastic as the first. We find it helpful to put an extra pot of coffee on when thanking donors.  Bring a smile to your donor’s face!

10. Showing Gratitude Doesn’t End With a Video

Taking the extra step to thank your donors with a video is extremely meaningful and important, but the thank-you’s don’t stop here.  Have a system in place to know who, when, how and where donors will be thanked.  From sending regular mailers to thanking them at fundraisers, the thank you video is a launching pad for your appreciation, not an ending point.

Creating thank you videos may seem intimidating at first, but the effort is worth the connection your donors will feel to your organization.  For more information, check out our Thank You Video Pro Tips and our DIY Video Checklist for quick tips on how to get started.