Four Important Keys to Successful Fundraising Videos

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Hundreds of nonprofit organizations and religious ministries use fundraising videos to tell their story. It’s a powerful medium, and along with other projects, our team at Cooke Pictures produces fundraising and donor development videos for some of the largest nonprofits and ministries in the country. After years of producing these around the world, we’ve discovered some important keys to creating an impact with the audience. The next time your organization considers a promotional or donor video for your website or to show at a live event, here’s some important principles to remember:

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Creativity Matters to Donors

Why Content is Still King

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I’ve always been amazed at the number of nonprofit organizations and Christian ministries who do remarkable work, but do such a poor job of telling their story.  I shouldn’t be surprised because after all, they’re experts at doing the work, not talking about it.  But more and more proof is coming in that donors are looking to be engaged with your content.  In fact, when you don’t tell your story well, you could be losing more than

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Just Criticizing the Culture Won’t Change the Culture

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When it comes to engaging in public policy and challenging today’s culture, one of the least likely strategies is one built around criticism. The growing number of churches and ministries that are constantly “against something” has always been a disturbing trend. On a regular basis, I see an avalanche of direct mail campaigns and magazine articles by organizations upset about

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The 10 Keys To Shooting A Great Video Interview

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Some marketing experts are calling this year “The Year of Online Video.” It’s becoming one of the most popular and effective ways to tell the story of products, organizations, and ideas. 2-4 minute videos can be powerfully compelling ways to tell a story, but in many cases, when they involve interviewing people, they fall flat. Interviews with fascinating people can be the key to many successful video presentations, but most video interviews are boring, without emotion, and pointless. Here’s 10 keys to shooting more effective interviews – the kind of interviews that get a response from viewers:

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How To Reach Younger Donors

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I was invited to be a keynote speaker at the Salvation Army Southern Territory’s Community Relations and Development Conference in Atlanta recently. One of the other speakers was Penelope Burk from Cygnus Applied Research. During her talk, she revealed the results of an extensive survey of younger donors to nonprofit organizations. Since most nonprofit leaders are concerned about developing next generation donors, her findings are important news. Here’s some highlights:

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Why 2015 Will Be The Year of Online Video

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A great number of media organizations are touting 2015 as the “Year of Digital Video.” Most of these predictions refer to the broad range of videos, movies, advertising, and other online content that is exploding on multiple platforms. But there’s plenty of reasons that 2015 will be the year of online video for churches, ministries, and nonprofits as well:

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In Media Programming, Are Male or Female Narrators More Effective?

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I get a lot of questions about using male versus female voices in media productions. Largely because there are some terrific female narrators out there, and yet most videos, commercials, news, and other media seem to be dominated by male voices. Does it matter? I’ve asked many direct response producers, because DR is a genre that needs results right away. That includes infomercials, fundraising programming, donor development media, and most of religious media. It’s a place where you can measure results quickly, and Direct Response writers and producers have always told me

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How Non-Profits and Religious Organizations Can Survive A Financial Crisis

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I asked a distinguished panel of donor development and fundraising experts about the advice they would give churches and ministries during a financial crisis.  The panel included the late Mary Hutchinson, as well as Mark Dreistadt, Dale Berkey, and David Holland.  I asked them to send me a couple of suggestions that could help a church or ministry get through a tough financial time.  Here’s their suggestions:

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