It’s a video-eat-video world out there

Before you start celebrating how online video is going to solve all fundraising problems and take us hand-in-hand with super-engaged donors into the future, take note of this study, reported at VidBlog: Abandoned! 20% of Viewers Stop Watching in the First Ten Seconds.

The study looked at around 7 billion online video views found this discouraging pattern:


  • 20% of the audience will abandon viewing in the first ten seconds.
  • A third leaves in the first 30 seconds.
  • 44% have left by the end of the first minute.

Yikes. It looks like online video is very nearly as brutal a medium as direct mail. It’s grab attention immediately or you’re outta contention. Potential watchers are only a click away from funny cats, laughing babies, and gazillions of other more compelling videos.

Really, this just tells us we can’t throw videos onto the web and expect to have an impact. A video needs to be powerful, interesting, arresting — all in the first ten seconds. How many nonprofit-produced videos spend their first minute or so on dull, static set-up stuff? Those videos are pretty much not getting watched, so they aren’t accomplishing their purposes.

Online videos are no different from any other medium. You have to do your homework, you have to be good, you have to know what you’re doing and focus on your audience. No magic, no shortcuts.

Thanks to The Agitator for the tip.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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