Think back to the last time something grabbed your attention online, made you feel something, maybe even pulled your heartstrings enough to cry. What video was it? This will come as a shock to no one – but over the last 15 months, the entire world has gone digital. From this, we saw a rise to innovations and new practices in essentially every field of business. Philanthropy is no exception either, and those efforts are needed now more than ever. For fundraising, no tool is more important than video. From driving awareness to the cause, the event being held, or hosting the event entirely via live stream. Video is the key to increasing an organization’s footprint in this digital age.
As full-scale audiences return, a lesson to take away from life in quarantine is, any event can boast its reach with live streaming. Not to mention reaching a traditionally younger audience, trained in the perfect online toolkit to promote, share, and build energy behind a great cause. With drastically lower costs than traditional broadcasting, nonprofits and smaller budget events can share their message with anyone connected online.
Having a strong cause, and the content to promote it is a key first step. Oftentimes, however, those messages exist in a bubble. Video’s role is bursting that bubble and getting the message in front of as many people as possible, and that comes in the form of social media. I certainly don’t need to educate anyone on the power of virality and social media. It’s a historically unprecedented way of showcasing the good an organization can accomplish with the support they receive, promoting more support as the cycle continues.
Nothing pushes that cycle forward more than video. Two of my favorite fundraising campaigns from the last year utilized video incredibly. The first uses candid videos of real people as they’re told that the help they need is coming. An emotional moment that tells the story of these families and their hardships, with brutal honesty. The other uses video to tell the story of an event – something that will live on forever as a reminder to their cause. It can always be looked back upon and shared with others. Even though they use it differently, the core of these campaigns is video and their success is unparalleled.
The Barstool Fund
- Helping small businesses stay alive throughout the pandemic, Barstool has been able to raise $39,293,929 (as of writing) for small businesses and restaurants.
- Barstool President Dave Portnoy has been individually calling/Facetiming the recipients of the money telling them they’ve been selected to receive aid. These calls and the reactions of the people in need are a huge driving force for this campaign. It is truly one of the most heartwarming things on social media.
George Watsky “Band Relief”
- Following the pandemic and cancellation of their tour, artist George Watsky wanted to find a way to help out both the members of his band who would be missing out on a year of work, as well as fans who had spent non refunded money on tickets and travel to events that would not happen.
- Instead of having a traditional fundraiser George elected to make it a donation/live stream where the goal would be to set the World Record for longest Freestyle Rap. Instead of holding just a single event, George was able to create a moment that anyone in the world could easily digest and share at the click of a button.