Non-Profit Solutions That
Increase Donors

Fundraiser’s Roundtable

I was sitting in my office just thinking about the fall and what we will be bringing to the table for our clients. While not a new concept, a video email, as part of the calendar year end appeal is a really good way to get maximum attention during a really crowded fundraising time of the year.

Have you watched the Running of the Bulldogs ad? Not only does that video keep you engaged for the whole commercial but it has become a conversation starter. I am not saying that your year end video will become a conversation starter but the majority of your donors will remember the video through all the clutter of the holiday appeals.

Several years ago, the children’s hospital for one of our academic medical centers had their pediatric patients singing along to Katy Perry’s “Roar.” The video became an international hit as it went viral. The video did not have a link to a giving site. It was simply a video to set the tone for year end giving.

One of our community hospitals received funds to create a video titled The Patient in Room 4222. It was decided to use this as part of the calendar year end campaign. As is the case with most hospitals, this hospital did not have email addresses for all of their donors…not a problem. A plan was developed to maximize all communication vehicles. First, donors with email addresses received an email asking them to watch for the forthcoming video. One week later, these donors received the video with a link to their online giving site which was a specific landing page so we could measure results. A little over a week later, we sent the direct mail piece which built on the story in the video. There was a URL address for the video for those individuals that did not receive the email. Finally, there was a post email just to close the entire program. The results were the highest that this client had ever received at year end.

As I think about year end appeal content, I visit the client’s web site and YouTube offerings. In most cases, there is more than enough content to build on for an appeal. This is how you separate yourself from the competition at the busiest time of the year.

For more information on video emails, go to You can visit our Strategy Alert on Video Emails.

Thank you.

John Betz, Chief Strategist, Borns Group/VDM Non-Profit Division –

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