7 Ways to make your nonprofit Thank You Videos stand out


Video is a great way to show and tell your donors how much you appreciate the gifts they make. 

In the past, video was so expensive and technically difficult to create, it was only available to corporations and the largest nonprofits.  Today, all anyone has to do is look into the camera on a phone to record a video that is both personalized and meaningful.

Here are 7 ways you can make your next thank you video stand out:

1. Say the donor’s name!  

When someone views a video that starts with them hearing their own name it immediately gets their attention.  Hearing their own name tells the viewer “wait a second, this specifically for me, I'm special!”  It stops endless scrolling in its tracks, and creates an immediate “wow” moment.

2. Smile and Wave.

When you thank a donor for the gift he or she just made, make sure they can see how excited you are.  A wide smile and a hearty wave to the camera shows them that you truly appreciate the support they’ve provided.

3. Look directly into the Camera.  

If you are recording with your phone, especially if you’re holding it yourself in selfie mode, you will have a tendency to look at yourself instead of directly into the camera.  Focus your eyes on the camera lens itself, not your own reflection.

4. Introduce (or re-introduce) yourself.  

Don’t assume the viewer recognizes you, or knows you, or remembers what you do (because your video is likely to get shared/forwarded others!). Say your own name, just as if you were leaving a voicemail, and tell the viewer what you do in your organization. “Hi {DonorName}, this is {YourOwnName}, and I’m the Executive Director here at {YourNonprofit}.”

5. Tell the donor why you’re sending the message.

This is the meat of it, the part where sincere appreciation gets seen and donor impact gets communicated.  Tell the donor that you are sending this message to thank them for their gift (be as specific as you’d like), and continue on to tell them about the impact their support is going to have. This is where you are most likely to get tripped up in your words. Don’t be afraid to re-record a couple times... the more videos you record the better you will get.

We often tell people to think of it as if you are leaving a traditional voicemail… with your face.

6. Thank and thank again.

As you approach the end of your video be sure to thank the donor again for the gift they made. 

7. Close, Plug, and Wave again.

As you finish up your video with a closing comment and final thank you, feel free to (optionally) direct them to additional information about your organization, an upcoming event, or just say that you look forward to telling them about the impact you know their gift will have.