Storytelling, as a means of sharing organizational vision, demonstrating social impact, and inspiring philanthropic contributions, plays an increasingly important role in today’s fundraising efforts. This has many organizations looking to donors as a valuable resource for inspiring personal stories. Of course, engaging current donors in ongoing fundraising efforts is not a new concept. Donor advocates have always been incredible assets to any organization, and now more than ever, advances in technology and society’s interest in personal stories offers nonprofits the opportunity to take things to the next level.
Capturing and sharing video-based donor stories represents a valuable way to connect with new donors and re-engage past donors, while deepening current donor commitment. Sharing donor story videos during group presentations, in emails, across a variety of social media platforms, and even during solicitations are just a few of the ways to utilize these powerful fundraising tools. This should create the perfect environment for maximizing impact.
However, many organizations are missing the opportunity to realize the full potential of the donor stories they capture on video, because they fail to share it with the most important audience—the featured donor.
Sharing a donor’s finished video story with that donor is a critical part of stewardship and cultivation. This simple, but very important, act is a powerful way to communicate gratitude. You may have said, “thank you” when you asked the donor to share her story, repeated the words again when she arrived for the video interview, and even once or twice after capturing the story. Nevertheless, sharing the finished product with your donor shows your appreciation in a completely new way and reaches depths that words alone simply cannot accomplish. It demonstrates respect for the donor’s time and for the insight that only her personal story can bring to the organization, while reinforcing the important role that donor (and every donor) plays in furthering the cause.
While this is often an overlooked or forgotten step in capturing and sharing inspiring donor stories with the world, it can thankfully be corrected. In this season of giving thanks, take a moment to make sure you have shared any finished video segments with your donors who were gracious enough to share their story.
To learn more about capturing and sharing your donors' stories on video, contact Mindseye Project Partners, an affiliate of Advancement Resources.