After watching the Houston Texan’s (and former Wisconsin Badger) JJ Watt lead a fundraising effort for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, the impact of video cannot be underestimated. It is obvious video is a fantastic partner when making an ask. Over the last ten days, JJ Watt , the US football hero, has used video to encourage people to give to JJ Watts Houston Relief Fund and he has also used video to applaud, encourage, and steward those who were supporting the effort. To date, JJ Watt has highlighted the fact that millions of dollars have been given to the hurricane relief effort through the Fund via a crowdfunding platform. The campaign has been so successful JJ Watt has had to increase the goal multiple times.
Plain and simple, video brings your story to the donor. It is also does the following:
- Connects the charity or the cause to the audience.
- Evoke emotion.
- Increase the non-profit’s reach.
- Inspire others to share a story or a cause.
- Increase awareness.
In this case, JJ Watt recorded an original message to get people to give and then he recorded regular updates where he expressed his gratitude for dollars raised and educated donors about where the money was going. These videos were shared on the Web via the Foundation’s Website and also via social media. Sure, JJ Watt is a national celebrity. Nonetheless, he took matters into his own hands and recorded the videos to prove the power and effective use of video.
Not only have average people become engaged, but JJ Watt captured the attention of the media and of celebrities. People have been jumping on the bandwagon due to the personal nature of Watt’s approach. To date, Watt has raised over $27 million. And, he is not done yet.
Most of us carry a video camera with us each day. Non-profit fundraisers can cut unprofessional, but personal, videos at any given moment. These videos are effective and and easy to deploy. There are also firms who produce very professional videos to tell our stories. There is one such firm which caters to the video needs of the NFP sector, Big Review TV/Big Cares. Big Review TV produces video packages for your non-profit organisation to use over the course of a year to bring the story closer to your prospective donors.
Whether you need a video to get the word out immediately, such as the case of a disaster relief effort, or you want a full range video package to build your brand, increase awareness, and show the emotive nature of what you do, video is becoming a necessary component in our fundraising efforts. JJ Watt has given us a case study to learn from and encouraged us to put videos in our toolbox.