A lesson from the Philippines: Thank your donors. Use video.

March 14th, 2014 · Nonprofit

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Three months after typhoon Haiyan, the Filipino Department of Tourism launches a global campaign which reminds us that video can be a powerful tool for donor acquisition, and also retention.

On February 8th, exactly three months after typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines, the Filipino Department of Tourism launched a campaign to thank the millions of donors who helped aid their recovery. Billboards popped up in major cities like New York City and London; the Filipinos themselves helped spread the word on social via #PHthankyou; and TV spots aired an awesomely warm and positive thank you message.

What I love about this campaign is the way it made me feel.

Two years ago, an executive director from a very large international relief organization shared that according to his research, the #1 reason donors give to his charity is because it makes them feel like a good person.

The #PHthankyou video did exactly that. It gives you the feeling that you're part of the greater good, that your gift truly made a difference, and that there is still some work left to be done. These are all goals that fundraisers strive for with every single word and image in their thank you letters - but all rolled up into a short, one minute video with inspiring music and smiling faces.

We all know video is an effective tool for acquisition as nonprofits have been using DRTV for years. Using video as a retention tool however, even if it's distributed via email, is very rare to see. Why? Video...

  • engages with more senses: sound. 
  • captures our attention and communicates the message quickly.
  • speaks to younger donors who are accustomed to, or even prefer, video to reading.

Is video part of your retention strategy? If not, it might be worth exploring. If effective, what may cost you in creating a compelling test video now, could end up saving you in your other retention and reactivation efforts down the road.