Yesterday I wrote about the march of online video into the media repertoire of mainstream America. Basically, everybody watches them, and an impressive and growing percentage of us originate our own video content and post it on the web … even if it’s just marking a friend’s wedding or our dog’s best trick.

Ace fundraiser Willis Turner commented on the post with skepticism:

“As usual, lots of interesting information about engagement but not a word about money. Or about how posting videos of people dancing at your sister’s wedding relates to fundraising.

The ‘norm’ of online communication keeps getting more sophisticated (and more expensive, in terms of time if nothing else), yet very few are bragging about how much cash is coming in.

Sure you can capture all kinds of cool data, but in terms of actual revenue, online is more like advertising than direct marketing. Sooner or later, as the novelty begins to fade, people are bound to start wondering, ‘what’s the real ROI?'”

Every gut instinct I have says that powerful nonprofit/charity videos will pack an irresistible punch. Surely that’s been emphatically demonstrated by traditional TV fundraising as executed by folks like Russ Reid (see examples here). No reason to expect that video delivered/viewed online would be any less successful … and indeed perhaps more successful, given that direct response is literally a click away.

And speaking of online video response clicks, here’s a study from Videology with two particularly interesting findings for fundraisers:

1. Online viewers age 65+ are the most likely to both click through to online videos and then view them to completion (is it just watching the latest grandchild’s birthday party?).

2. Charity videos — out of 16 categories — are the most likely to be clicked to, and the most likely to be viewed to completion.

To paraphrase Mary Cahalane’s comment on my post … online video might not be your personal ‘cup of tea’, but fundraisers owe it to their nonprofits and clients to get with it!


P.S. Anyone care to share an online video fundraising success story?

This article was posted in: Communications, Media usage / trends, Online fundraising and marketing.
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