You know how important it is to respond to each gift with a personalized thank you letter. But you also know that you need to show your donors love throughout the year too. Many nonprofits are successfully using video, share graphics on social media, and other visuals like infographics, to say “thank you!” in a more compelling and public way.
Kivi Leroux Miller recently joined us for a webinar in which she analyzed examples of videos, graphics, infographics, and other visuals that say “thank you!” to donors and other supporters.
You can watch the full replay here:
Steven Shattuck: My clock just struck 1:00. Do you want to go ahead
and get started, Kivi?
Kivi Miller: Sure. Let’s do it.
Steven Shattuck: Cool. Well, good afternoon, for those of you on the
East Coast, and good morning if you’re on the West Coast or
somewhere in between. Thanks for joining us for today’s
webinar “Thank-You Videos and Other Visual Ways to Show
Your Donors Love.” My name is Steven Shattuck. I’m the V.P.
of marketing here at Bloomerang, and I will be moderating
today’s little discussion.
Today I’m very happy to have Kivi Leroux Miller joining us today.
She’s actually here live at Bloomerang headquarters. It’s
something that hasn’t happened before, but we’re really
happy to have you here, Kivi. So thanks for hanging out
with us for about an hour or so.
Kivi Miller: It’s my pleasure.
Steven Shattuck: So for those of you who don’t know Kivi, which I
doubt that is true for anyone, but just in case, she is
President of NonprofitMarketingGuide.com, which is a top-
ranked blog on nonprofit communications. If you haven’t
read that blog, if you don’t have it bookmarked, actually,
you should make it your homepage. It’s that good. You’ve
got to check out her website.
She is the author of a couple books. One is “The Nonprofit Marketing
Guide.” There is “Content Marketing for Nonprofits,” both
of which we’ll link to at the end of the presentation.
Also, very excellent books. She’s a great writer. She’s a
certified executive coach. She trains coaches and consults
with small nonprofits and large nonprofits who have a small
communications department. She helps out with marketing,
communications and fundraising. She’s no stranger to
She’s an excellent speaker, and all of you are in for quite a treat
today. I peeked at a little bit of the content. It’s going
to be really, really great.
So Kivi, thanks again for being here. This should be a lot of fun.
Kivi Miller: Yeah. Looking forward to it.
Steven Shattuck: So what’s going to happen is I’m going to hand
things off to Kivi really quickly here, and then we’re
going to jump into a Q&A session at the end. So as you’re
listening, feel free to chat questions our way. We’ll see
those. Both of us will see those. We may even take some as
we go along. So do not be shy if there’s something you want
to ask her or have clarified, and will save some questions
for the end as well.
In case you have to leave early or get disconnected for some reason,
I will be sending out a recording of the presentation a
little later this afternoon, so you’ll be able to relive
all of the content again and even show it to some of your
staff members if you’d like to.
So I’m not going to take up any more time. Kivi, why don’t you take
Kivi Miller: All right. I’m actually hearing a little bit of an echo,
Steve. I don’t know if you have me on speaker anywhere, but
now I’m not hearing it. So I think we’re good. Okay.
Steven Shattuck: Okay.
Kivi Miller: So . . .
Steven Shattuck: I think were good.
Kivi Miller: . . . the first thing I want to do is ask all of you a
question, which is, what is your No. 1 question for me
today about thank-you videos or graphics? What brought you
to this webinar? What do you want to know? I’ve certainly
got a lot of stuff I want to tell you, but I want to make
sure that it’s really customized to answer your questions.
So let’s just take a minute for you to fire in some
questions to me. Don’t worry about typos. Nobody’s going to
judge you for your typos. Just go ahead and send it in.
So we have some questions about platform. You should all be able to
see the questions, I believe. “What’s the best links?” “Can
we use a cell phone to film them?” “Interested in doing
other kinds of thank-yous.” “What are some of the different
tools for infographics, video being complicated?” I don’t
blame you, Mark. “How can we turn this around?” “Who should
be featured?” Okay. So good questions coming in.
I want to tell you right off the top that I’m not going to spend a
lot of time talking about the types of technology that you
used to do this. I’m really focused on the content of the
graphics in the videos. So for example, and so talking
about how a video was filmed or edited, what we’re going to
do is usually analyze the script, the video, because just
like in Hollywood, if you want to get your project
approved, you have to start with a good script. It’s the
same thing for you. If you want your video to work for you,
it has to have a good script.
So we’re going to really focus of the content of your graphics and
your videos, and not so much on the technology, but I am
going to answer some of the questions by pointing you to
So before we get into the real specifics, I need you all to remember
that graphics or videos are just another communications
channel. It’s just one other way for you to get your
message out. So you really have to keep your Basic
Marketing 101 questions in mind.
At first question you want always ask yourself is “Who am I
communicating to?” So in this case, the question is “Who
are we thanking? Are we thanking individuals? Are we
thanking our community? Are we just thanking the universe?
Who are we thanking?” and then, “What are we really
thanking them for? What’s that all about?”
On the “Who” side, here’s an example for sort of a video “Thank you”
campaign that Charity: Water ran a couple years ago.
Charity: Water does really good online marketing, and they
love to do video, and they did a series of videos thanking
So you can see from the screen capture that some of these are
organizations, Silverpop for example. Some of them are
individuals, Jody and Jimmy and Brian and Michelle. Some of
them are larger members of their community, thank-you
bloggers, and they did all of these videos thanking all of
these different people. So you can have multiple goals and
multiple people you’re thanking, but you want to think
about it. You want to know if you’re doing this for a
particular human being, versus a broader community.
Here’s an example of how one organization, The Trust for Public Land,
thanked individuals, but did it in a very public way. So
this is what we call “social proof.” I see Alyssa made this
contribution to T.P.L. and so I see that on Facebook and I
think, “Oh. That’s neat. Somebody’s donating, and look,
they made her this cute little thank-you graphic from an
They didn’t do this for every single donor, but they didn’t need to.
The fact that they did it for some donors was all they
really needed to do. It’s cute. It’s fun. What it conveys
is that Trusts for Public Land cares about its donors,
makes a direct connection between the donors and the good
work that they’re doing. “Join Alyssa in helping to save
the Greater Yellowstone area. $38 saves a quarter acre,”
and they run a number of campaigns like this to raise money
to save different areas of land.
Next, after who you want to talk to, you have to think about “What’s
the message to them?” So the basic message here is “Thank
you.” That’s what we’re talking about is thank-you videos
and graphics. However, there may be sort of more
sophisticated elements to that message. “Thank you for
doing a certain thing,” “Thank you for sharing a certain
value by being a donor or supporter,” so you want to think
that through. You know, what’s the real message besides
just the core thank-you message?
Then the third question is “Where is that message going to be
shared?” and in this case, we’re talking about a visual
format, but we don’t just want to leave the visuals on
YouTube, for example. The worst thing you can do is make a
video and just leave it on YouTube. You want to make sure
that you’re embedding that video in other places, your
sharing that video and you’re really making sure that
you’re driving some of that traffic to YouTube yourself.
And so marketing questions, it doesn’t what you’re doing, you always
want to answer these questions in your head: “Who am I
talking to? What’s my message to them?” and then, “What’s
the right communications channel to get that message to
them?” and video and visuals are no different; you need to
keep going through those questions.
So let’s go ahead and jump right into video. What I’m going to do is
share with you four different kinds of thank-you videos
that nonprofits are doing today, and I’ll tell you a little
bit about the video, just in case those of you haven’t seen
the links yet. We did send you some links for the videos on
YouTube that you can watch. If you haven’t watched them
yet, it’s okay, because really going to focus on the
The scripts were one of the handouts that Steven sent you as well. So
if you’ve already printed that out, great, you can follow
along. If you haven’t, don’t worry about it. I’m going to
show it on screen and you can look at it later.
So for video, there are some good resources out there for you.
YouTube actually has a really strong program for
nonprofits, and they have lots of tools for you; they have
lots of help menus and educational videos that you can
watch on how to make a good video. So that’s a good place
to start for those of you who are little confused about how
to actually do this.
See3 is a consulting company that does a lot of work with video. They
partner with YouTube on the Nonprofit Video Awards, and
they also have a nice guide to nonprofit video, and they
call it their “Guide for Creators,” and if you go to
See3.com/intofocus, you’ll get the information there. So
again, another great resource for those of you looking to
do this well.
There are lots of tools out there to create video. If you just Google
“How to create an online video,” you’ll find them. Animoto
is one that I like and a lot of nonprofits use that allows
you to take both still photographs and live video and to
combine them into just a — you know, the panning and the
zooming in and all of that on still photos and add a
soundtrack to it, and your text to it. It’s a nice, easy
user interface to put these things together.
Okay. So I think those are all the resources I want to share with
you. Let’s go ahead and get into some of the videos, and
I’ve actually put together a number of different playlists
on YouTube. So in addition to the ones I’m going to talk
about specifically today, there are lots of other thank-you
videos. I’ve grouped them by year, just to keep the size
manageable. So there’s a 2013 nonprofit thank-you videos
playlist. So you can go to YouTube.com/KiviLM to get to my
And I encourage you to just sit there and watch a bunch of these
videos and take some notes to yourself about the ones you
liked, what you liked about them, the things you didn’t
like. I don’t particularly like all of the videos in the
playlist, but I wanted to have a good example, a range of
examples for you, see you can decide whether you like them
or not. The ones I share with you today, I actually do
like. So you’re going to hear about my favorites today.
Okay. So let’s go ahead and look at our first type of video, type of
thank-you video. I’m calling this “The ‘Thank you for’
model,” okay, and the first time I saw this done really
well was with The Nature Conservancy in 2011. They did a
video called “Our Scientists Say ‘Thanks,'” and I have the
script and the script handout for you. I’m not going to
actually look at that one today. I’m going to look at one
that was modeled off of it, but they basically just say
things like “Thank you for helping us to protect is the
Gulf of Mexico,” “Thank you for supporting our work in
Utah’s Canyonlands,” “Thank you for helping us to protect
rivers and streams in Texas.”
On each frame, there’s a different scientists who works at T.N.C.
saying those things, and so what that allows you to do is
see this great diversity of places that the Nature
Conservancy helped save. You get to see this great
diversity among their scientists. You get to hear their
accents from all over the world, see the different ways
that they’re dressed. You know, sometimes you hear birds in
the background. Some of them look like geeky scientists.
So it’s a nice, fun, very authentic, real video, and I’ve shown it in
a number of different conferences I’ve gone to over the
years, and one organization that saw me present that video
decided to basically copy the model, which is what I’m
encouraging all of you to do today is to copy these models.
That’s why we’re talking about them.
So the Bray, the Archie Bray Foundation for Ceramic Arts, copied this
model, and I put some screen captures here for you on the
screen, just so those of you who saw it can remember which
one it is. The Bray is sort of a residency program for
ceramic artists, and so it’s a combination of the artists
and the staff at the Bray who are saying “Thank you” for
these different elements.
What I’m going to do now is switch over to the PDF of the scripts. So
hopefully that is coming up on your screen here. Like I
said, Steven sent you this, so you should have it. This
first one is the Nature Conservancy one that we’re going to
skip over, and I’m going to show you the script for the
So couple things I want to point out here. This is two and a half
minutes. That’s on the long side, I would say. Generally
you want these videos to be one to two. If you’re pushing
it to three, you start to lose people, so you want to be
really careful about that.
As I said, you have different staff members, resident artists who are
speaking each of the flowing lines . . . Sorry about my
sort of squiggly lines there, but you can see it follows
this same sort of pattern: “Thank you for giving me space
to work,” “Thankful for the opportunity to be here,” “Thank
you for your support enabling this and that.” Then they’ve
got the office dog.
It’s always cute to have one or two of the people be a little funny,
like a dog with the sign. The Nature Conservancy one has a
scuba diver underwater, holding up a thank-you sign for
saving a coral reef, I think. So it’s fun to have something
a little unexpected.
In this one, again, they make it personal: “I met my snow angel at
the Bray. Thank you,” and then they’re holding hands and
they fall down and make snow angels. So again, it’s kind of
light and cute and fun, and that’s what you want these
videos to be. They should not be really heavy-duty
tearjerkers. These should be nice, light, fun videos. Okay?
And then you have the Executive Director doing a wrap-up.
The E.D. opened the video and closed the video.
So what you think of this model? Is it something that you might be
able to pull off? Again, we’re starting with an opening by
the Executive Director, followed by maybe 10 to 12 people
saying one thank-you line, “Thank you for” either helping,
supporting, protecting those [inaudible 00:15:24] . . .
duplication of the verb there, and then after that, each
person is saying something individual. Okay?
Any sort of questions or thoughts on this one? I like to take
questions as we go along. I think it’s more interesting for
both you and me that way.
Steven Shattuck: We had one from Terry that’s pretty interesting,
Kivi. Terry says, “I have concerns about an owner’s
confidentiality. What’s your experience with that?” It
seems like you probably want to get their permission to be
Kivi Miller: If you include them in the video then yes. Are you asking
more about the infographics for the person’s name was used?
I’m assuming that’s probably where the question was . . .
Steven Shattuck: Yeah.
Kivi Miller: . . . really coming from?
Steven Shattuck: Yeah. Terry says “Yes.”
Kivi Miller: You know, I have two minds about that. So on one level I
think, “Yeah. It would be best to get their permission.”
However, if it’s a $25 donor and you’re having a baby
caribou say “Thank you” on Facebook, I don’t think that’s
really going to really make anybody mad at you. It’s not
like you’re making a huge fuss out of it. I think it’s fun
and light. I think you probably have a little more leeway,
and I think people will be sort of pleasantly surprise and
excited about that kind of thing, and if they’re not, you
can always take it down.
So you know, it’s like the Charity: Water videos, when people made a
video to say “Thank you” to the individuals. I doubt that
they call those individuals up and said, “Hey, is it okay
if we make a thank-you video?” They just did it and posted
it, and I think that’s probably okay, but you know, if
you’re a little more risk-averse than I am, then get
Okay. Let’s see. Kathryn, I saw your comment about the tearjerker,
and I absolutely believe that . . . I’m not against
tearjerker videos. Let me put it that way, but for thank-
you videos and in particular, I think it’s nice for it to
be a little more on the upbeat side, and you know, upbeat
things can make people weepy too. So that’s fine. But the
more sort of traditional tearjerker can definitely work
well for other purposes in your communications and
Okay. Let’s go ahead and move on to our next model. So now I need to
go back to my slides. And our next model is the “Because of
you, I am able to do this thing,” so first-person
accomplishment. This is going to work for those of you that
do direct service work, where the people you help, you see
every day, and it’s very clear who that clientele is, you
know, very sort of on-the-ground, grassroots direct
service. This is not going to work as well for those of you
that don’t do that. I think you can still make it work, but
you’ve got to be a little more creative.
So the example that I’m showing you here is one of the The Arc’s.
Forgetting which one it is right at this moment. Let me
find my list. Okay. This is The Arc of the U.S., so it’s
the national one, as opposed to one of the state or local
ones. So what they did in this video is — there’s no voice-
over. It’s music, and instead what you see our individual
clients of The Arc holding up the little whiteboards with
their first-person messages. I think almost all of them are
So again, what I’m going to do . . . Now flip back over to the
scripts. Here we go. Okay. So in this one, you can see how
short this is. Look how much text this really is. So again,
when I’m talking about doing the script, this is your job;
this is what you’re trying to figure out. Okay? So the
person who did this didn’t just willy-nilly tell people to
write things on a whiteboard and throw it all together.
Some thought went into, again, what that message is and
making sure that the message is consistent. It says
something you want people to remember.
Not everybody wrote the exact same thing on the whiteboard. You know,
the order that the messages were in was orchestrated in
terms of how the thing was edited together. So you’ve got
to put some thought into this. Okay?
Now, on the screen it says, “We want to offer you our thanks,” in
just regular text, and then we have a bunch of the clients
holding up the whiteboards, and again, this is really kind
of poetic when you read it. “Because of you, I live in my
own apartment.” “I’ve been happily married for six years.”
“I can work.” “Because of you, I educate my community about
disability.” “I work to end bullying.” “I get to do what I
love.” “I’m a better speaker.” “I found a job.” “I serve my
community.” “I have a job I love.” “I’m a powerful
advocate.” “Thank you.”
This is really powerful, and it is almost a tearjerker, and for some
members of this community, it probably was a big
tearjerker, and it’s so simple and so easy to do. So again,
sometimes the production values of getting people’s voices
is a challenge, and don’t do it; do signage like this
instead. Have them hold up something.
For example, if you have locations all of the country, and you are
not confident in the ability of all your different field
staff to get high quality audio on their phones, and you’re
afraid it’s going to be a nightmare and really
inconsistent, don’t worry about it; do something like this
where you then put a soundtrack over it and you don’t have
to worry about any of that audio quality.
So what do you think about this one? Let’s hear some — get some
feedback about this. Any questions about this? How might
some of you see yourself following this model from The Arc?
Share some examples of maybe who could hold up your signs,
what they might put on those signs. Again, this one was
only a minute long, so for all of these, I’m saying a
minute to two minutes. It’s really your sweet spot.
[Inaudible 00:22:12] Lisa. You’re looking forward to using it. That’s
great, “simple and sweet.” I’m trying to read these before
they disappear off the screen. A number of you are saying
that it’s effective, emotionally powerful. I really love
this one too, and I thought it was very powerful for the
organization, in terms of what they do in his messaging,
and I also just love that because its production values
were so easy to copy, and that’s really sort of my
criteria, because I’m always looking for things that I can
share in trainings like this one. So whenever I see
something, it’s like, “Ah. People could do that. People
could copy it.” Then I really love it too.
A number of you are [inaudible 00:22:52] . . . need to make sure that
you get the right music, and I would encourage you to pick
things, again, that are little more upbeat. When you listen
to the different videos that are in those playlists I
created for you, you’ll see that some of them have that
kind of slow sort of sappy music, and I don’t know, I just
don’t feel like it has the same energy that some of the
others that have music, but it’s a little more upbeat, have
to them. So music is really important and the only thing
that people hear, and I would really experiment with that.
For those of you that are like, “Where do I get music?” if you just
Google “royalty-free music,” you can get a bunch of sites
that have music for cheap or free. It’s really not that
expensive to get decent music. You may have to sit there
and listen to 50 or 60 clips until you find the one you
want, but you can do it pretty quickly and easily.
Laney is emphasizing, yes, you do not want to violate people’s
copyrights. So that’s why I’m saying you want to Google
“royalty-free music.” That means that you’re allowed to use
it. The person you getting it from usually has cut that
deal, and so you’re sort of pain the go-between when you go
to those world music websites. I think that’s the easiest
way to do it. I’m all about easy.
Okay. Let’s go back to the deck and look at our next one. It’s not
bringing me back to where I was. I’m having to scroll to
find where I was. Okay.
So the next model we’re going to look at is multiple readers, okay,
so multiple voices, multiple people on screen, with key
phrase repetition. This goes back to the idea of you
knowing what you want to say. What is your message, again?
Remember, you’re focusing on your three key marketing
messages at all times: “Who am I doing this for? What’s my
message to them?” and then “How am I delivering that
So with this one, you really need to think about what that repetition
is, okay, and I’ve got a couple examples for you in the
strips. There’s one of Girls Inc., right here in
Indianapolis. I actually didn’t realize that until just
now. And they have a bunch of young girls who they serve
standing up and repeating a number of phrases.
So I won’t read the whole thing for you, but just to give you a sense
of what I’m talking about, one girl says, “Thanks for your
support.” Another says, “Thousands of Greater Indianapolis
girls like me,” and then another “like me,” and another
“like me are participating in Girls Inc. programs and
learning what we are capable of. We are capable of . . . “
Okay? So what happens is they’ve basically written one
They had, I don’t know, I think there may be 15 different girls in
the video, reading that entire paragraph, and then they’ve
edited it together. So the 15 girls are saying the one
paragraph, but there are key phrases that we hear multiple
times out of multiple girls’ mouths, so “Thanks to you,”
“Thanks to you,” “Thanks to you,” is repeated by — I’d
say, over half of the girls are uttering that phrase.
And there’s also some repetition later in the video. The word
“smart,” “strong and bold,” “bold,” “bold,” “bold,” are
repeated as well, and that’s on purpose. That’s going back
to the core mission of Girls Inc., which is to really make
girls feel like they are smart, bold, in the world and can
be leaders and decision-makers. So again, you need to think
about that, what is going to be a key phrase repetition?
The other one I want to talk about is another Nature Conservancy
video. Nature Conservancy used “The scientists say
‘thanks'” video for, I think, two or three years in a row.
These typically come out around Thanksgiving, and they use
that one at least twice in, I think, maybe three years, and
then they decided to do a new one. Okay?
So this was a more recent one. This is a 2012 version, and they sort
of did this model where we have some repetition of the
concepts. So again, let’s flip back over to our script.
Here is the Girls Inc. one I was talking about. Then we get
to the Nature Conservancy. So at the beginning, again, we
have maybe 10 or 12 people speaking, and they’re talking
about the weather, so “Hot,” “Chile,” “Rainy,” “Hot and
dry,” “Wet.” [Inaudible 00:27:49].
No matter where you are, no matter what your weather is, this is
where we start to get into the core messaging, “The Nature
Conservancy is protecting some of the most beautiful
places.” Okay? And it’s this “places” word that they’ve
chosen as their keyword that they’re going to repeat:
“Amazing places,” “Cool places,” “Drop-dead gorgeous
places,” “Pristine,” da da da da da da da, “Places that
ensure we have fresh water to drink,” “Places that breathe
clean air,” “Places to provide a home for wildlife,”
“Places we can protect,” “Places we will protect thanks to
people like you.” Okay?
So we have that repetition of the weather all around the world, which
is a subtle nod to climate change, I think. They don’t
really come out and talk directly about climate change, but
that’s certainly a big issue of concern for them, and then
they repeat this idea of all the places, and then you can
see, they close with the words “Thank you,” in I think six
or seven different languages. So again, it’s that key
message repetition among a number of different voices.
So what you think about this one? What do you think about Model No.
3? How could you make this one work for you? I see a bunch
of you typing. Avis says, “What about doing an ask at the
end?” You know, I kind of prefer these to be more of the
soft ask if you’re going to do an ask. You know, there’s a
lot of debate in our community, development community,
about where you ask in a thank-you, and sometimes it works
and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it’s appropriate.
Sometimes it’s not.
So I don’t think there’s any super-hard-and-fast rule. I kind of come
down on asking less in thank-yous than asking more, but
that’s just sort of my personal preference. So you know, I
think you can definitely have the donate U.R.L. at the end
of the video, but I wouldn’t necessarily have someone come
on screen and say, “Give now.” I think that’s a different
Reading some of the comments here. Emily says, “I worry that this is
overused and may seem generic unless it’s executed well.”
You know, I hear your concern, Emily, but at same time,
what I would say is that is, following this kind of stuff
as we are as professionals, I think lots of times, we are
in marketing and fundraising — we are really in tune to
what other people are doing, and so we get concerned about
things getting trite more quickly than they actually do,
So that’s not something that you’ve tried with your community before,
and it’s not something that’s old trend, trendy. You know,
some of the Internet memes you definitely have to do it on
time, otherwise you do kind of look like a fool, but for
this kind of thing, I think most of these are going to be
pretty long-lived. I think these formats, you could give
them a try.
Okay. Let’s go ahead and look at our last version, and let me just
slip back one more time, for those of you that didn’t see
the videos, so you have a little bit of a clue about what
we’re talking about today. Okay.
So this one is the last one and, in some ways, the easiest really.
It’s your physically spelling out the words “Thank You,”
and again, I have another example for you from the Bray.
The Bray is a really small organization. They have Rachel,
their Communications Director, was also their Program
Director until recently, and so they have a separate
development team, so she had help their, but she’s got a
lot of other stuff going on. It’s not like she’s making
videos full-time or anything.
So they were thinking, “Okay. What else could we do? Well, we make
things here at the Bray, so let’s actually make the word
‘Thank you,'” and so the video shows the different artists
creating the letters and putting the letters together, and
at the end, they take them out of the kiln and they’re all
kind of standing there holding it, and then we hear them
actually say “Thank you” out loud, the construction of the
letters have music over it, and again, it’s sort of sped up
video, so it’s got this kind of fast-paced music, as well.
And let’s see. Let me flip back over one more time. And here you go.
So On the Bray, you know, there is this spoken inference
about “Thank you for your support. We couldn’t do this
without you. We wanted to say ‘Thanks’ the best way we know
how,” and again, because they are ceramics [inaudible
00:32:58]. Then we see this time-lapse video with them
building the word “Thank You.” Okay?
So what’s a way that you could physically form the letters of “Thank
You?” Who could be in that video? What could your letter be
made out of? Anybody have any creative ideas for how they
could put this one to work for them?
Diane says, “Student dancers.” Yeah. I like that. That’s great.
Anytime you have kids, you have plenty to work with. They
can use their bodies. They can make art. So there’s all
kinds of fun stuff that you can capitalize on with creative
“You can make them out of school supplies,” says Leslie.
Daniel, “Having that organization that deals with kids and
So sometimes there are a lot of you who can use your clients in
videos like Mark did, and there’s others of you who cannot,
for a variety of reasons, and I just think it means you
have to be a little more creative about it, and maybe you
don’t make the thank-yous with people. Maybe you find the
metaphor for the hope or the security that you’re giving
your clients and you come up with form letters in some
other way. I just think you have to have some fun with it.
Okay. I’m going to flip back over to the slide. We’re done with the
flipping back and forth. We’re just going to stay in the
presentation now. Let me find where we were. Okay.
So quick summary, in your handouts you have a longer “do’s and
don’ts” for both video and infographics, but here are just
a few points in the video. You want to think about what
we’re seeing and what we’re hearing. The audio on video is,
in some ways, more important than what we see. Okay? People
are more forgiving of a visual that is out of focus than
they are forgiving of really bad audio quality on a video.
So you want to think about that. I’m not saying you can
shoot a bunch of blurred videos and put those online all
the time, but you want to pay attention to the audio. That
audio is more annoying than bad visuals.
Again, if you, for whatever reason, are just going to have too much
trouble getting the audio quality right, then strip it off
and just throw on some music, or have somebody record a
voiceover in a really quiet room, and put that on, instead
of using the audio that’s native within the video that you
You want to keep it to one minute, I think, two tops, and like I
said, I believe for thank-you videos in particular, that’s
what we’re talking about today, the upbeat music and pace
is really a must. I think the slower stuff just does not
produce the same kind of happy energy that you want to
create for your donors about the good work that they’ve
There are other kinds of videos were, I think, that slower, sadder
pace . . . You know, the classic is those videos with
A.S.P.C.A., with the sad dogs and the sad Sarah McLachlan
music. Those videos rake in a ton of money for A.S.P.C.A.,
and they are just sad and mopey and they work. Okay? But
that’s not what I’m talking about today. I’m not talking
about a video that’s raising money. I’m talking about a
video that’s saying “Thank you for giving the money,” and
the A.S.P.C.A. thank-you videos are happy wagging tails and
have big kitties and puppies. Okay? They’re much more
It’s fine to combine still photography and live videos. So if you
don’t have live, don’t worry about it. Like I said, you can
use something like Animoto to put together something that
looks great, based off of photography.
And also think about using multiple voices. Sometimes it’s nice to
have the opening and the closing be the same person, like
we’ve seen some of the Executive Directors, but having
different voices keeps people interested. It keeps them
more engaged than listening to someone drone on, like I am
on this webinar for an hour. No one wants to listen to
Okay. Any questions about video? We’re going to move on to
infographics, but before I leave that, leave video, I just
want to see if we have any final questions about video. I’m
going to take a sip of tea here, so type for a minute.
Roxanne has shared a resource for digital music. Please, if you’ve
got favorite websites, favorite sources of — there is such
a thing as stock video and music — feel free to share
those in the chat with each other.
Lynn says, “How do we let people know about the video?” So this goes
back to, you want to think about who you’re trying to reach
and why you’re trying to reach them. Sometimes you want to
make sure that the people who went to this certain
fundraiser or responded to a certain campaign [hear] about
it, or hear about your video, see your video. So in that
case, it would be more of a targeted send, usually via
email and social media.
You can certainly tell people via print about your video and give
them a link to it, but typically a place where people can
click direct to the videos is going to be the better way to
go. So you’re going to want to think about who should get
it via email, and sharing it in your social media channels.
When you send it via email, what I recommend you do is take a screen
capture of the video, including the little player buttons,
and actually embed that graphic into your email, just like
you would embed any other picture, and people will click on
the graphic and then that will either take them to your
website or take them directly to YouTube, depending on what
you pick, what you make as the link on that video screen
capture, and they’ll actually go watch it there.
Okay. Let’s go ahead and move on to infographics. So I have created a
board at Pinterest. There are a ton of examples on that
board right now, in part because I just sort of slacked
off. So I need to go be actively on the hunt, and if you
find good examples that you think should be in this
collection, please, by all means, let me know, and we’ll
add them, but we do have a Pinterest board and encourage
you to check that out.
Here are some examples that I thought were particularly cute. So this
is a paper thank-you card that is being sent out to
different donors, and then what they also did is uploaded
that thank-you card as a graphic to say “Thank you” to
everybody who gave. So everyone in the organization signed
it, and it’s just a cute picture of a dog with a thank-you
note. How can you go wrong there, right?
So if you got cute people or cute animals to take pictures of, then
you definitely have a little easier job than some of your
colleagues who do not have cute kittens and puppies and
kids. So stop complaining if you do, because your job is a
little easier, but there are other ways to do this too.
So again, we talked about the Trust for Public Land, and here’s a
picture that doesn’t even have the moose in it, and that
person donated $38. “Now a quarter acre of the Hoback is
safe.” So if you have anything you can take pictures of,
even if it’s not living and breathing, just the
environment, that’s fine too. You know, here we have
another version of that, the baby moose thanking Hillary.
Again, I don’t think Matt or Hillary probably were upset about this.
They probably thought it was really fun and enjoyed it and
wanted to share it with their friends. That’s typically the
reaction that people have to this kind of stuff.
Here is more of a sort of generic thank-you to all of our donors.
Where the previous examples were a little more specific,
this is more of an infographics, “Seven amazing things
donors have made possible,” and then we’ve got the little
factoids. Of course, we’ve got the cute kid with her
fingers in the heart shape. That’s a nice touch too, but
it’s really trying to express to donors the good work that
they make possible in this infographic form.
Here’s another approach to this. This is actually an interactive mini
website that the Humane Society of the United States did.
So the screen capture that I have here, they’ve used that
graphic itself independently, “You’ve taken a stand for
millions of suffering animals. To them, and to us, you’re
hero. Thank you.”
So this, in and of itself, has been shared in lots of different ways,
but if you actually were to click over to the site, you
would be able to hover over — they have a larger version
of their logo, this thing, down below the graphic, and as
you hover over each of the animals, an extra box pops up
with more videos and more factoids about what donors have
made possible to help animals. So you can get pretty
interactive with these things. It’s a lot of fun. It’s just
really up to your imagination.
So a few quick pointers on the infographics. Gratitude at a glance is
your goal. People are looking at these graphics very
quickly. For the most part, these are social media. They
can also be embedded into your website and into email, just
like we talked about with the video, but these are nice to
be shared and to encourage people to share them. So that
means people are looking at them very quickly. So we want
that thank-you to the donors to really pop. We don’t want
people to actually have to read too much.
I would build the graphics thank-yous into your campaign plan from
the start. So think about what you’re fundraising for.
Think about ways you can share your gratitude as you’re
fundraising. So the Trust for Public Land examples with the
animals thanking the $38 donors is a great example of that.
Those things were posted as the campaign was happening.
It wasn’t just at the very end, and again, that’s what we call
“social proof,” “Oh. Other people are doing it. I guess
it’s okay for me to do it, too.” You want to encourage that
kind of behavior. It’s the same concept to between those
thermometers that a lot of people use for fundraising
goals. “Oh. Other people got the thermometer up 75%. I
guess I can give too.” That’s another version of social
So build these things into your campaign from the start.
If you’re going to do a full infographics, and we have more
[inaudible 00:44:49] boards on bigger infographics, you
want to make sure that you give the eye a path to follow.
So for example, on this little when I showed you, it’s very
linear, “Oh. It’s seven things, and I can read straight
down the [inaudible 00:45:05].”
Lots of times when we get infographics, there are numbers everywhere
and it’s just the sort of hot mess, and it’s hard to know
what you’re supposed to look at. So you want to be careful
and try to avoid that and really make sure that people can
see it, you know, really see the message. If you crowd it
up, they’re not going to be able to see it. Okay?
Again, those are just a couple of quick pointers. You have handouts
that have a more complete sort of “do’s and don’ts” list,
so check those out as well, and at this point, I’m happy to
take any additional questions that you have. We’re at the
end of the formal presentation, so let’s hear your
questions and your suggestions on how you would put some of
this to work.
Steven Shattuck: Yeah. Cool. That was great, Kivi, and thanks
everyone who was asking questions as we went along. It was
fun to have this kind of interactive. So that was great. So
yeah, we do have about probably 10, 10 or 12 minutes, for
questions. A few maybe were sitting on your hands or didn’t
get to ask is we were going along. Please do. Ask away.
We’ve got Kivi her. She’s an expert. She’s at your disposal
for the next 12 minutes or so, and David, I will be sending
out the handouts that she referenced, a little later on
[inaudible 00:46:19] listening, I’ll get all those
Okay. We’ve got one from Judy here, Kivi. It says, “Is it important
to put the amount that someone has given as part of that
social proof concept?” Would you include the dollar amount
Kivi Miller: You know, I think it depends. On smaller-dollar social
campaigns, I would, where you’re really trying to do sort
of the crowd funding effect. The dollar amount is a signal
to other people about what you consider an appropriate gift
size, and so, especially in social fundraising, your
typically dealing with smaller dollar amounts, and you want
to sort of let people know what that right ballpark is.
Now, when you start to get into higher-dollar donations and you start
to do more individual video creations, like some of the
“charity how-to” — sorry — Charity: Water videos, some of
those include the dollar amounts; some don’t So for
example, some of the ones that were thanks to corporations
where it was sort of a full staff effort, the whole
organization donated a certain amount, that is common to
include the dollar amount in those cases.
When you’re thanking an individual donor who maybe gave $500, you
know, I would probably lean against the dollar amount at
that point. So again, I think it’s a judgment call, knowing
sort of what the culture is with your donors about that
sort of thing, but the smaller, more sort of the crowd
funding, social fundraising, I would probably lean towards
using the dollar amount.
Steven Shattuck: What do you think about super-short form videos like
Instagram and Vine? Aaron was wondering about those.
Kivi Miller: I think those are great. I encourage you to experiment and
play around with this. Don’t wait until you’ve got it all
figured out, because by the time you’ve got that all
figured out, people are going to be on to something else.
So we are living in a very fast media environment now, and
you really can’t afford to just sit on your hands and wait
until you have everything perfect and figure it out. So
play around with it.
I know an organization that thanks major donors with custom videos.
It happens to be an organization that helps kids do
different afterschool camps and summer camps, so they had
the benefit of having great kids who can goof around in the
videos, but they do custom videos for their major donors,
where the kids actually get on video and say “Thank you Mr.
and Mrs. Smith for making it possible for me to come to
camp this summer.” You know? And it’s adorable, and you can
bet those donors are watching those things over and over
and loving it. So I think you just have to be creative and
be willing to play around with it and see what works.
Steven Shattuck: What about cost, Kivi? Some of the examples that you
showed from Girls Inc. and from Arc, how much do you think
those videos actually cost, and what kind of budget should
people put aside for things like these?
Kivi Miller: You know, it’s so hard to say, because it depends on what
market you’re in, honestly. Those of you that live in
bigger cities are going to end up paying more, but you also
probably have access to more people that are also willing
to cut you a deal and maybe even willing to work for free.
So I think it’s hard to say.
For the short videos, it’s not a lot. It’s probably more than
hundreds, but it’s not a lot of thousands. You know, when
you start to get into the longer-form videos, where there’s
tons of editing and lots of original video, where the crew
has to come out and take all of the video, that’s where it
gets expensive. If you can really take the original video
yourself and then give it all to someone who really edits
it and cleans it up for you, you’re going to be better off
and you’re going to be able to get it done in a much more
Steven Shattuck: Cool.
Kivi Miller: Where it gets expensive is where you’re paying people to
come out and film. That’s where the price can go through
the roof. So if you can do some of that ahead of time and
really just pay for the editing and the cleanup, that’s
Steven Shattuck: Great. Jerry here is wondering — Jerry’s got a
major campaign that’s done through special contributions
and churches. Jerry’s wondering “How do you do a quick
response thank-you to the church as a whole?” Any ideas for
Kivi Miller: I’m assuming you have multiple churches, is that the idea?
Steven Shattuck: Yeah. It sounds like.
Kivi Miller: Okay. You know, you can do something where the first 10 to
15 seconds of the video is customized for that congregation
where you actually “Hey. Church of whatever . . . ” You
know, you say their name, and then you throw it on another
minute and a half that’s the same thing that every church
sees, that’s more about the result.
I mean, you want these videos — if you look back and you look at
these scripts, there’s a lot of results and progress in
these videos. They’re not saying, “Thank you for giving us
money.” All right? None of them are saying that. They’re
saying, “Thank you for improving our lives. Thank you for
saving these places.” It’s all about the results that the
donors created. That’s what people are being thanked for.
So in that situation, you can probably reuse that part of
the video over and over and over and just change the
beginning, to customize it.
Steven Shattuck: Yeah. That makes sense, and it’s personalized that
So if you’re shooting your own video, Kivi, do you need pro
equipment? Lynn here is asking about equipment. “Can you do
this on your iPhone? Do you need to go out and buy” . . .
Kivi Miller: Yes.
Steven Shattuck: . . . “an expensive camcorder?”
Kivi Miller: You can do it on . . . If you have a smart phone that’s
not like really old, I mean, if you’ve got it in the last
couple of years, then you’re fine. You have everything that
you need to be able to do this.
Now you need to know how to use your phone. So you want to spend a
few minutes understanding where the settings are. A lot of
them have settings, especially for the lighting and the
audio. That can be very helpful.
If you’re going to upgrade anything, I would get a mic to plug in to
your big — usually plug into the little headset part of
your phone, and an external mic can do a better job of
capturing the audio than what your phone will often
capture, and again, like I said earlier, people are more
annoyed by that audio quality than they are annoyed by
picture quality, so that’s where a mic makes some sense to
spend 100 bucks to get a decent mic that you would plug
into the phone to capture the audio.
Then what you do, is that is recorded in a different track. You’ll
have an app on your phone that records the audio for you,
and then you’ll have to go into some software and sync that
audio track that you recorded with the microphone to the
video track, and you can do that yourself, or that’s,
again, where you can pay somebody else to do that editing,
if that’s a little too scary for you.
Steven Shattuck: Cool. Well, we’ve got probably about one more
question, time for one more question. So I’ll answer the
next question I see has [inaudible 00:54:21], but I want to
give [inaudible 00:54:23] . . .
Kivi Miller: It’s laundry time.
Steven Shattuck: Yeah. This is serious. I want to give Kivi some time
to talk about where you can find out [inaudible 00:54:29] .
Oh. Someone from Scott. What about software? So if you want to tackle
editing yourself, any tools for that that you can think of?
Kivi Miller: You know, that’s a landmine of a question. Everybody’s got
their favorite piece of software. So it depends on whether
you’re a Mac person or a P.C. person. So I personally am on
a P.C. I use [inaudible 00:54:57] Studio, and it’s fine. I
think it’s a middle-of-the-road kind of tool. It’s not
super basic, because I need to do a couple of little
splashy things that I like to do, but it’s not the super-
high-quality professional hundreds of bells and whistles
either, where it’s so complicated I can’t figure out what
So for me, that works, but you need to find the thing that works for
you and your type of computer.
Steven Shattuck: The iMovie on Macs is pretty good. That’s what I
use, personally. It’s not too bad, and I think comes with
[inaudible 00:55:33] . . .
Kivi Miller: There you go.
Steven Shattuck: . . . Mac too. Yeah. Well cool. This is really fun.
This has been really helpful. I really enjoyed listening to
this and looking at all those examples. Hopefully everyone
else did who listened in.
And Kivi, I think you broke our attendance record for webinars. So
congratulations on that.
Kivi Miller: Well thank you all for being here today.
Steven Shattuck: Yeah. This is fun. I want to give you the last word.
Where can people find out more about you, find your books,
read your blog, follow you on twitter, all that good stuff?
Kivi Miller: Sure. So NonprofitMarketingGuid.com is our website, and
it’s a regular website with lots of downloads and articles,
and then we also have the blog, so that’s
NonprofitMarketingGuide.com/blog. We blog Monday through
Friday. So you can subscribe to that if you want to hear
from us every day in the inbox.
If that’s not for you, we also have a weekly e-newsletter, and will
often link to the better stuff on the blog. So you can do
that as well.
If you go to NonprofitMarketingGuide.com and look for the “Freebies”
link, there’ll be a sign up for the newsletter and for a
bunch of free e-books, all kinds of good stuff, and then of
course we have the two books that I’ve written, too. For
those of you that want the handbook on your desk, we’ve got
a couple of those as well, and Amazon has them for just
about the best price. Amazon actually gets [inaudible
00:56:49] prices and I can sell them to you for as author.
So . . .
Yeah. Check it out. We’d love to hear from you, and of course, follow
us on social media.
Steven Shattuck: Yeah. Definitely do that, and do check out that
newsletter. I recommend everyone subscribe and check out
that blog. Really, really good content. If you liked
anything at all that you saw on this presentation, you’re
going to get that there as well, and they do have “Content
Marketing for Nonprofits.” Really excellent. As soon as
this webinar ends, Kivi, I’ve got to get you to sign
Everyone [inaudible 00:57:17] by that . . .
Kivi Miller: I’ll be happy to.
Steven Shattuck: It’s thick, too. So it’s definitely worth whatever
[inaudible 00:57:22] . . .
Kivi Miller: It is. It’s a tome. I mean, I could not sit down and read
my own books in one sitting. So it’s a function of the
publisher. Jessie Bath Wiley [SP] really likes to create
these handbooks, all-inclusive handbooks. So they’re big
books, and you can definitely flip through them and just
read the part you need to read.
Steven Shattuck: Yep. That’s really good. I think everyone should buy
it. So that’s my recommendation.
Well, this is a lot of fun. We give you these webinars once a week.
We’re actually taking next week off, but one of us —
actually me — I’m going to be presenting on the Nonprofit
Hub webinar next week. So go to our webinar page. You can
register for that. I’m going to be talking “Social Media
for Nonprofits” next week.
And then beyond that, lots of cool topics coming up here in the
future. We’re going to talk “Strategic Planning,” things
like that. So check out our webinar page. Look at the
upcoming webinars. You can register for those for free.
There 100% free and 100% educational. So if you see any
topics that look interesting to you, please do register,
and you can attend those.
So Kivi, thanks again. This is great. I’m going to be sending out all
the materials are later this afternoon, so look for an
email from me. You’ll get the recording. You’ll get all the
handouts that we referenced today. So look for that, and
with that I’m going to say a final “Goodbye.” So thanks
again for hanging out with us, everyone, and we will talk
to you next week.
Kivi Miller: Bye-bye.