We had a very, very packed room at our workshop “Adventures in New Media” at Fundraising Day today. People standing in the back, sitting on the floor and lots of really great questions about how you measure the impact of social media strategies on fundraising. I learned a lot from the panelists, Jennifer Berger, Executive Director, About-Face; Steve Kehrli, Development Director, PETA Foundation; Noel Rabinowitz, Director of Media Programs, Applied Research Center, including some of the following highlights:
There are hidden costs to social media especially in relation to human resources and time.
Can’t fully control your organizational brand online, but you can interact with it!
Constituent and membership engagement is key!
Let the youth go wild.
Websites should be a program, not just a marketing tool.
Vertical Response is free to nonprofits!
Among so many, many other strategies, ideas and lessons learned.
I was also struck by how much the mood in the room changed when a panelist showed a video. Every video was applauded. It takes all the words, strategies and power points that people use to talk about their mission and makes it real and accessible in the moment. People connect automatically! I could feel it.
Make videos, make videos, make videos…use them in presentations all the time!
And, they don’t have to be expensive!
Case in point.
Here’s a video of my introduction to the panel (made on a flip camera with flip movie editing):
Here is the About-Face video, which was also made on a Flip and which cost $600 to have an editor make it look good:
Here is a great ARC video, which was also low-cost.
And here is PETA’s video which has gotten 40 million views, but that hasn’t translated yet into major donations.
Conclusion: Video great for bringing people to your mission, but still untested as a fundraising strategy.
And, yes, I am well aware that social media is so much more than just video, and because I was so struck by how the audience responded to video during the presentation, I want to make sure my fellow nonprofiteers remember it doesn’t have to be expensive to be good and compelling!