You know we’ve been busy checking out incredible fundraising campaigns across the country.
We’ve been so bored of focusing on the bad stuff going on that we started looking for the good. And, let me tell you, these campaigns have not disappointed.
From restaurants fundraising for their laid-off employees to print screeners nation-wide joining together for a common movement, we’ve been blown away by the creativity, by the humanity, we’ve seen.
So, we decided to take those campaigns and learn from them — and then share our new knowledge with you, so you can make one crazy successful fundraising program too.
Our first tip?
Videos have the power to change everything.
We’re not talking million-dollar ads with high production value. Nor are we talking perfectly planned, scripted, and produced commercials.
We’re talking about the real stuff.
The videos that show who you are, who your business is, what makes it unique.
The videos that give your audience an honest way in to the story behind the initiative — to your why.
These are the videos — the ones that exhibit truth and rawness — that compel people to take action. High production value and perfectly coiffed actors are everywhere these days — so much so that we’ve become desensitized to them. We don’t care about the perfect ads.
We care about the authenticity. We care about connecting, on a personal level, to someone else’s story.
That’s why your campaign should include videos — real, raw, unfiltered glimpses into what you’re doing, what you’re aiming for, and why you started.
And, once you’ve earned that connection, the sky’s the limit.
Case Study: #SupportLocal
In our “˜Spotlight On’ feature of the #SupportLocal campaign, spearheaded by central Florida-based screen printer Sunday Cool, we focused on the basics.
How their team was left devastated after COVID-19 put most of their business on pause, forcing them to lay off 19 staff members.
How every other employee was forced to take a 50% pay cut, in order to stay working.
How there was tragedy and heartbreak everywhere they looked.
But how, despite all of that adversity, they refused to be helpless. They put their minds together and, knowing that there were local businesses all over the country hurting just as much — or more — than they were, they came up with a way to take action.
#SupportLocal was born.
Sunday Cool worked with each and every interested local business to create a custom branded t-shirt and a custom online store, and then took care of all the production and shipment (direct to buyer) details.
And, did we mention that most of the proceeds made from those t-shirt purchases went right back to the local business?
It’s no surprise that so many businesses, both in central Florida and throughout the rest of the country, signed up. And they still continue to.
But, getting the massive turnout they received took more than just having a strong program plan. It took some original marketing. Not fancy or expensive — just honest.
Promoting the earnest
When the #SupportLocal campaign first kicked off, Sunday Cool filmed a who we are, what we’re doing video to explain the basics.
It was under a minute and a half, and it stayed on Andy, the content coordinator at Sunday Cool, the whole time.
In other words, there were no elaborate features or snazzy gimmicks. There was only Andy, breaking down the concept behind the #SupportLocal initiative, and inviting any business — near or far — to buy-in.
So why did it work?
Because Andy’s enthusiasm for the campaign shone through. We could tell he was excited about the prospect of helping other local businesses — and through his excitement, we were invited to feel something great.
Hope, that this campaign could actually make a difference.
Connection, because, like Andy, we were looking for ways to help, too.
Whether you were watching as a local business or as an individual looking to help local businesses — by buying t-shirts or by passing the link along to a business in need — that connection was real.
It was his passion for serving, his belief in the initiative, that got our attention. And it was his earnestness that kept it.
One isn’t enough
After the success of the first #SupportLocal video, a few things became clear.
First, that people connect to authenticity.
Second, that people are more inclined to watch a video (that’s short) than to scroll down a whole page, reading about something they’ve never heard of before.
Well, people are busy creatures. We have limited time to be spending online, and when we see a page full of text, we guess (oftentimes wrongly) that it will take us far too long to read.
A video, on the other hand, shows us its length from the start. We know Sunday Cool’s introduction to #SupportLocal is 1:23, and that’s short enough for us to commit.
There’s also the effort quota. Watching a video takes far less effort than reading a page of text does — and, because we’re all so busy, we’re looking for things that don’t need a lot of our energy.
So, because videos are so easy to consume — and don’t require all that many resources (just a camera) to make, Sunday Cool saw the pros of keeping them coming.
Here’s our recommendation
Like Sunday Cool, each and every campaign should make sure to have an intro video. Something that can be easily spread across social media, so local businesses everywhere can see what’s on offer.
But then, also like Sunday Cool, there should be a follow-up.
Check-in videos that update the community — and the people reached outside it — on how the initiative is progressing.
Not only do these follow-up videos offer positivity to news feeds and inboxes that are usually swamped with stress, but they also serve to reach more people. The more traction a campaign has, the more local businesses it can reach — and help.
Whether it’s a video to highlight new businesses added to the program or a video to thank the community for making purchases, whether it’s a glimpse of the screen printer’s staff working behind-the-scenes or an interview with a local business that’s been positively impacted — it all works.
It works to inspire hope, for a country that’s been ravaged by bad news.
For local businesses, whose main streams of revenue have been blocked.
And for community members who, desperate to help out, now have a clear — and easy — way to take action.
Videos work to spread messages far faster than any other format of reporting could. So take advantage of it.
And, you never know — your video might just end up on an evening news segment, too.
You have the power
Whether you’re in the process of creating your own fundraising campaign, or trying to support a campaign already in progress, make sure you add “˜videos’ to the plan.
And, while you’re at it, reach out to us at InkSoft to see how we can help you make your campaign the most effective one yet.
We offer technology that makes designing products, setting up online stores, and organizing fundraising transactions not just 100% digital — but 100% easy. And we’d love to give your campaign the tools it needs to be as impactful as it can be.
You can reach us at 800-410-3048.
We’re here for you — because we believe that we always do better when we’re working together.
The InkSoft team