For action from donors, tell about people, not programs

Here’s some good advice from the ListenIn Pictures blog: The Biggest Mistake (hands down) Non-Profits Make With Video.

Don’t make videos about your programs. Make them about people.

Many non-profits seem to think the strength of video is to inform and educate. It’s not. The strength of video as a medium is that it can create emotional bonds between your supporters and the people you serve.

You cannot establish your brand by telling people the details of how things get done.

This is a problem not only in videos, but in every communication medium. If you think your program is interesting, you’re wrong.

How people are affected by your program — that’s what might be interesting — if you make sure you aim the story at donors, not just your in-the-office audience.

If you want people to care, to give, to get involved, tell them about the impact of your programs on an individual. Talking about the programs themselves is just fundraising from yourself.


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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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About the blogger

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.