6 Lessons Learned for Nonprofits from Video Appeal Challenge Winners | Miratel Solutions

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6 Lessons Learned for Nonprofits from Video Appeal Challenge Winners

In many of my posts in our social media series for nonprofit fundraising, I often recommend that nonprofits create and share original content that will engage and inspire their community of supporters. Photos and videos are specifically effective as these are more visually appealing and can tell a story more than the written word. This year alone I spotlighted several nonprofit videos like 4 Winners from the 2013 DoGooder Video Awards for Nonprofits and 5 Top Nonprofit Videos from YouTube and the Lessons Learned from Them. The Vine and Instagram-platforms offer six and fifteen seconds of video respectively and can also be produced to have a professional look, be engaging and become viral.

Recently The Chronicle of Philanthropy held “The Six-Second Appeal Challenge” contest, where nonprofits were invited to create a six-second video about their cause using the Vine app. The following were the winners, runner-ups and honorable mentions and what could be learned from them:

  1. chronicke-of-philanthropy-vine-nonprofit-video-contestWinner – Center for Literacy. Very simple in concept and execution, this winning video is proof that you do not need elaborate production values to create a video and convey a message effectively. By simply showing what the cause as a whole is through an animated building and then bringing it to life once looking inside the building they didn’t need more than six-seconds to tell their story. Very descriptive tagline: “A School for Adults Who Want to Improve Their Lives” (***½ /5) Click to view the Center for Literacy video
  2. Runner-Up – The National Council of Jewish Women (Chicago North Shore) – The Silent Witness Exhibit. The message in the video is clear and haunting: “One woman is murdered in Chicago every week as a result of domestic violence. STOP the killing” which is written on pictures of faceless women. Despite the incredibly effective message, unless you are familiar with the NCJW acronym, you may not know what organization it is. You would have to do some research but luckily they provide website information at the end of the video to do so. (****/5) Click to view The National Council of Jewish Women video
  3. Runner-Up – SPCA Monterey County. As an animal lover myself I found the video very relatable and cute. Mixing in cartoon bubbles/balloons added a fun dimension to the video. The “Everyone deserves a best friend” message flashed a little too quickly for me and caught it on the second or third loop. None the less, the six-second video conveyed the right emotion and delivered the message effectively. (****/5) Click to view SPCA Monterey County video
  4. Honorable Mention – United Network for Organ Sharing. Despite the simplicity of this video it was very impactful by showing a man breathing with a printed sheet of paper that had the organization’s slogan, logo and website information resting on his chest while it was rising and falling with each breath he took. This told the viewer everything one needed to know although it would have been great to confirm if the star of the video was an organ recipient himself in the video description. (****/5) Click to view United Network for Organ Sharing video
  5. Honorable Mention – The Rape Foundation. The use of children certainly puts a face to the issue and ultimately the organization’s cause. As one of two videos amongst the top entries with audio it relays the right message while integrating technology by showing the construction of housing for child victims on a tablet which is what the organization is fundraising for. The only downside to the video was some camera shakiness towards the end and the lack of website information right on the video. (***½ /5) Click to view The Rape Foundation video
  6. Honorable Mention – Testicular Cancer Society. The second video amongst the top entries with audio, it was also the only one that explicitly demonstrated how a donor’s support can help the cause directly. They aptly used imagery in their video to represent the cause effectively however where the video falls short in not having the website information on the actual video or the description of the video. Otherwise it’s a strong video with built-in appeal that a viewer can clearly understand. (***½/5) Click to view Testicular Cancer Society video

This contest certainly highlighted the many ways in which nonprofits can produce short professional quality videos that are effective and engaging. What in the past used to be considered a challenge, today has been made easy with apps, platforms and programs that can create original content that will appeal to supporters. The new challenge? Keeping it under six seconds!


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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centreeBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraisingonline fundraisinglottery servicesdonation cagingdonation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.

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